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Recent  British 
battles  on  land  and  sea 

James  Grant 

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British    Battles 

On  Land  and  Sea. 


James   Grant, 

Author  of  "Old  and   New  Edinburgh/'  "The  Ronnance  of  War,"  &c. 


CASSELL    &    COMPANY,    Limited: 

LONDON,    PARIS   ^    NEW    YORK. 

[all   KIUHT!)   RBSeKVEU.] 

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7  MAY  85      ^^ 

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1.— The  Expedition  to  Perak  (1875-6)       >...,,.        i 

II.— The  Jowaki  Expedition  (1877)  ,  .  .  .  ,  .  .9 

III.— The  War  in  Kaffirland  (1877-81) :— The  Comrats  of  Guadana  and  Ibeka  .        "      .      11 

IV.— The  War  in  Kaffraria  {cotUimtcJ)  \—Tu^  Combats  of  Lrsisi— Umzintzani  (1877)  .  .      17 

v.— The  War  in  Kaffraria  {continued) :— The  Combat  of  Nyumoxa— Relief  of  Fort  Warwick— 

The  Fight  at  Quintana  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .24 

VI.  -The  War  in  Kaffraria  {concluded) :— Affairs  in  the  Perie  Forest— Rebellion  in  Griqua. 

land— Death  of  Sandilli  .  .  .  .  .  .  -32 

VII.— The  Basuto  War   (1879-81):— Morosi's  Mountain— The  Failures  Before  It,  and  Final 

Capture.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  -33 

VIII. —The  Basuto  War  {concluded) :— Letherodi's  Village— Operations  ai    Mafeteng— Combat 


IX.— The  Second  Afghan  War  :— Introduction— The  Attack  on  Ai.i  Mi'sjin  .  .  '54 

•    X.— The  Second  Afghan  War  {cotitinued)\—1\vz   Kurram   Column  and   its  Co.mmander— The 

March  to  the  Kurram  Valley      .  .  .  .  .  .  -58 

XI.— The  Second  Afghan  War  {continued)  :— The  Storming  of  the  Peiwar  Kotal        .  .      64 

XII.— The  Second  Afghan  War  {continued) :— The  Sappri  Defiles- The  Fight  at  Siafoodeen    .      71 
XIII.— The   Second   Afghan    War  {continued) :— The  Khost  Valley  Expedition— Fighting  the 
Mangals — Capture  of  Candahar— Fighting  the  Mangals  Again— End  of  the  Khost 
Expedition  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  '77 

XIV.— The  Second  Afghan  War  (concluded)  :— The  Disaster  to  the  ioth  Hussars— Combats  at 


XV.— The  Third  Afghan  War  :— Destruction  of  the  Cabul  Embassy  .  .  .99 

XVI.— The  Third  Afghan  War  {continued) :— The   Battle  of  Charasiah— The  Asmai  Heights — 
Cabul  Entered  by  the  British  Troops— Explosion  at  the  Bala  Hissar— The  Fight 
AT  Shahjui  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     io6 

XVII.— The  Third  Afghan  War  {cotttinued) :— Fighting  Round  Cabul— Conflict  at  Asmai— Our 

Troops  Shut  Up  in  Sherpur  .  .  .  .  .118 

XVIII.— The  Third  Afghan  War  {cotttinued) :— The  Atfack  on  Sherpur  .  .  .126 

XIX.— The  Third   Afghan  War  {continued) :— Introductory   Remarks— The  Battle  of  Ahmed 

Kheyl— Massacre  at  Dubrai— Skirmishes — Sir  Donald  Stewart  Governor  of  Cabul    130 
XX.— The  Third  Afghan  War  {cotttinued) :— Raids  and   Outrages— Abdur   Rahman— Fight  of 

Syazabad — Mutiny  of  the  Candaharee  Troops  .  .  .  •     "37 

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CHAPTER  ^         PAGE 

XXI. — The  Third  Afghan  War  {contimud) . — The  Baitle  of  Maiwand,  or  Kushk-i-Nakhud        .     143 
XXIL— The  Third  Afghan  War  (r<w/fViw<'</):—CANDAHAR  Invested  .  .  .  •    ^57 

XXIII.— The  Third  Afghan  War  ^continued) :— A  Last  Glance  at  Cabul— Sir  Frederick  Roberts's 

Letters  of  Readiness -Commencement  of  his  Famo^^  March  .  .  .161 

XX IV. —The   Third   Afghan    War   [continued) :— The    Sortie    from    Candahar— The    March    of 

General  Stewart— The  March  of  General  Phayre  .  .  .  .165 

XXV.— The  Third  Afghan  War  {continued)  -.—The  March  of  Sir  Frederick  Roberts— The  Re- 
connaissance OF  THE  31ST  of  August  .  .-  .  .  .  .17a 

XXVI.— The  Third  Afghan  War  {concluded) :— The  Battle  of  Baba  Wali,  or  Candahar  .  .     179 

XXVII.— Changes  in  the  Equipment  and  Army  Organisation— The  War  Balloon— The  "Steam 

Sapper  "—Rifles  AND  Bayonets— The  New  Drill— Gunnery— The  8o-Ton  Gun— The 

Largest  Crane  in  the  World— Star  Shells— 13  and  7  Pounders— The  Nordenfeldt 

Gun— Army  Promotion  Warrant— The  Territorial  Regiments      .  .  .189 

XXVIIL— The  Zulu  War  :— Introductory— The  Ancestors  of  Cetewayo— His  Army— Zulu  Weapons 

— Sekukuni  and  his  Stronghold  .  .  .  .  .  .  .195 

XXIX.— The  Zulu  War  {contintud) :— The  Sons  of  Sirayo  Cause  of  the  War— Operations  of  the 

Right  Column,  uth  to  23RD  January— Combat  of  Inyezane  .  .  .203 

XXX.— The  Zulu  War  (r^»//»/#^//) :— Operations  of  the  Centre  Column,  iith  to  23RD  January- 
Tub  Disaster  of  Isandhlw ana— Defence  of  Rorke's  Drift  .  .  .209 
XXXI.— The  Zulu  War  (r<wi//ww^</) :— Operations  of  the   Left  Column,  iith  to  23RD  January— 

The  Blockade  of  Etschowe— Colonel  Pearson's  Two  Raids  .  .  .226 

XXXII. — The  Zulu  War  [continued) : — The  Relieving  Column — The  Laager  at  Ghingilovo  .    234 

XXXIII.— The  Zulu  War  [continued) :— With  the  Leff  Column— The  Fight  at  Intombe— Storming  . 


XXXIV.— The  Zulu  War  [cotttinued) :— Brigadier  Wood  Attacked  at   Kambula— Arrival   of   Re- 
inforcements— Reorganisation  of  the  South  African  Field  Force  .  .     252 
XXXV. — The  Zulu  War  [continued): — With  the  First  Division— Fort  Napoleon — Arrival  of  Sir 

Garnet  Wolseley  ........    260 

XXXVI.— The  Zulu  War  [continued) :— With  the  Second  Division— Buller's  Scouts— Zulu  Ambas- 
sadors    ..........    262 

XXXVIL— The  Zulu  War  (continued) :— Death   of  Prince  Louis  Napoleon— Trial  of   Lieutenant 

Carey,  98TH  Regiment      .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .    26S 

XXXVIII.— The  Zulu  War  [continued) :— Resumed  Advance  of  the  Second  Division— Skirmish  at  the 

Erzungayan  Hill — More  Zulu  Envoys— Skirmish  near  the  Umlatoosi  River  .    273 

XXXIX.— The  Zulu  War  [continued) :— On   the    March   to   Ulundi— The  Expedition    beyond   the 

Umvolosi  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .279 

XL.— The  Zulu  War  [continued) :— The  Battle  of  Ulundi      .  .  .  .  .286 

XLI.— The  Zulu  War  [continued) :— The  Second  Division   Broken  Up— Some  Operations  of  the 

Second — A  "Durbar**  by  the  Umlatoosi   .  .  .  .  .  .292 

XLII.— The  Zulu  War  [continued) :— Reorganisation  of  the  Troops  in  South  Africa— Plans  of 
Sir  Garnet  Wolseley— Lieutenant-Colonel  Clarke's  Column— Lieutenant-Colonel 
Russell's  Column  ........    298 

XLIII.— The  Zulu  War  [continued) :— Pursuit  and  Capture  of  Cetewayo  .  ,  ^04 

XLIW. —The  ZVLV  War  [cone/uded)        .  .  .  .  .  .     3*^ 

XLV.— The  Operations  against  Sekukuni      .  .  .  .  .  3^5 

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XLVI.— The  Operations  against  Sekukuni  (concluded)  ,  ,  .  .  .  .321 

XLVII.— The  Transvaal  War  :— Introductory— The  Transvaal— The  Boers— Their  Discontent 

AFTER  THE  ANNEXATION        ........      329 

XLVIII.— The   Transvaal   War   {cofil^micd) -.—The  Affair  at    Brunkers  Spruit— The  Murder  of 

Captain  Elliot    .  .  .  .  .  .  .      *        .  '335 

XLIX.— The  Transvaal  War  {continued) :— The  Leaders  of  the  Boers— Their  Army— The  Battle 

of  Laing's  Nek    .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .341 

L.— The  Transvaal  War  {cotttinued) :— The  Battle  of  Ingogo  River  or  Schain's  Hoogte         .    351 

LI.— The  Transvaal  War  {continued) :— Arrival  of  Sir  Evelyn  Wood— The  Relieving  Column    358 

LIL— The  Transvaal  War  {continued) :— The  Battle  of  Majuba  Hill  .  .  .362 

LIIL— The  Transvaal  War  {continued) :— The  Eight  Days*  Armistice— Proposals  for  Peace         .    370 

LIV.— The  Transvaal  War  {continued) :— Our  Garrisons  Besieged  in  the  Transvaal— Wakker- 

stroom—Standerton— Pretoria— LvDENBERG—PoTCHEFSTROOM  .  .  .  -373 

LV.— The  Transvaal  War  {concluded)  .  .  .  .  .  .382 

LVL— The  Egyptian  War  :— Introduction— Arabi  Pasha  and  the  Khedive      .  .  .383 

LVII.— The  Egyptian  War  {continued) :— The  Bombardment  of  Alexandria         .  .  .388 

LVIII.— The  Egyptian  War  {cotitinued) :— Alexandria  after  the  Bombardment    .  .  .398 

LIX.— The  Egyptian  War  (r^w//Vi/«r</) :— Strength   and  Composition  of  the  British  Army— The 

Sailors'  Ironclad  Train— The  Skirmishes  at  Ramleh  .  .  .  .401 

LX.— The  Egyptian  War  {continued) :— The  Army  Detailed— Night  Surprise  of  the  6oth 
Picket — Alison's    Reconnaissance   of    Kaf rdow a r— Reconnaissances  by   Lieutenant 

DORRIEN  AND  CaPTAIN   PaRR— SuEZ  CaNAL  OCCUPIED  BY  THE  FLEET       .  .  .      406 

LXI.— The  Egyptian  War  {continued)  \^ A  Skirmish   by  the  Mahmoudiyeh  Canal— Capture  of 

Chalouffe— The  Indian  Contingent  ......    417 

LXII.— The  Egyptian   War   {continued)  -.—Proceedings  at  IsmaYi.ia— The  Skirmishes  at  Tel-ei.- 

Mahuta— The  Seizure  of  Kassassin  Lock  ......    423 

LXIIL— The  Egyptian  War  {continued) :— Operations  of  the  Second  Division  at  Alexandria  and 

Ramleh— The  Treasure  Chests — The  Transport  Service     ....    431 

LXI  v.— The  Egyptian  War  {continued) :— The  Egyptian  Army— Capture  of  Mahmoud  Fehmy— 
Graham  Attacked  at  Kassassin  Lock— The  Cavalry  Charge  under  Baker  Russell — 
The  Mutilation  of  the  Dead       .......    435 

LXV.— The  Egyptian  War  {continued):— \<\Tn  the  Second  Division— Departure  of  the  High- 
land Brigade  for  IsmaYlia  .......    446 

LXVI.— The  Egyptian  War  {continued) :— With  the  Head-quarter  Division— The  Naval  Brigade 
— Arabi    proclaimed  a-  Rebel — Soldiers  in  Disguise — The   Second  Engagement  at 
Kassassin  .........    449 

LXVIL— The  Egyptian  War  {contintud) :— With  the  Second  Brigade  of  the  First  Division— Alex- 
andria :  The  Works  There— Smith-Dorrien*s  Mounted  Infantry— The  Egyptian 
Deserters— The  Fate  of  Professor  Palmer  and  his  Companions      .  .  .    460 

LXVIII.— The  Egyptian  War  {continued) :  With  the  Army  before  Tel-el-Kebir— A  German  Glance 
AT  the  Camp— The  Line  of  Advance— The  Reconnaissances  of  the  iith  and  i2th 
September— The  Battle  of  Tel-el-Kebir   .  ,  .  .  .  465 

LXIX.— The  Egyptian  War  {continued) :— Some  Notabilia  of  Tel-el-Kebir  ,  .  •477 

LXX.— The  Egyptian  War  {continued) :— Surrender  of  the  Lines  at  Kafrdowar— Of  the  Forts 

at  Aboukir  and  Elsewhere  near  Alexandria        .  .  .481 

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LXXI.— The  Egyptian  War  {continued) :— The  Advance  upon  Cairo— Capture  of  Zagazig  and  Bel- 
BEis— The  Capture  of  Arabi  and  Toulba  Pashas— Surrender  op  the  Garrison  and 
Citadel  of  Cairo  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  •    489 

LXXIL— The  Egyptian  War  {cmtinued)  -.—Occupation  of  Taiwah— Return  of  the  Khedive  to 

Cairo— The  Quarters  of  the  Troops  at  Cairo       .  .  .  .  '497 

LXXIIL— The  Egyptian  War  {continued) :— The  Explosion  at  Cairo— The  Hospital  Service— The 

Transport  Service  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .506 

LXXIV.— The  Egyptian  War  {contintud) ;— The  Cairo  Review— The  War  Office  Returns— Proposed 

Egyptian  Army— The  Procession  of  the  Holy  Carpet         .  .  ,  .508 

LXXV.— The  Egyptian  War  {contintud) :— Arabi  given  up  to  the  Khedive— Return  of  the  Troops 

—The  War  Medal— Sir  Garnet  Wolseley's  Last  Despatch  .  .  S^S 

LXXVI.— The  Egyptian  War  {concluded) :— The  Army  of  Occupation— Our  Interest  in  the  Canal— 

The  Trial  of  Arabi  ........    520 

LXXVIL— The  Expedition  to  Sherboro,  1883      .  .  .  .  .  .  526 

LXXVni.— The  War  in  the  Soudan  :— Causes  of  the  War— The  Mahdi     ....     s  32 

LXXIX.— The  War  in  the  Soudan  (continued) : -British  Operations  at  Suakim      •  .  .    557 

LXXX.— The  War  in  the  Soudan  {continued)  -.—The  Column   for  the  Relief  of  Tokar— The  Ad- 
vance TO  El  Teb  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .541 

LXXXL— The  War  in  the  Soudan  {continued) :— The  Battle  of  El  Teb    .  .  .  .546 

LXXXn.— The  War  in  the  Soudan  {continued) :— The  Advance  on  Tokar— Letter  from  the  Sheikhs 

—Camp  of  the  Black  Watch— The  Advance  on  Tamai     •  .  .  .  .551 

LXXXHL- The  War  in  the  Soudan  {continued) :— The  Battle  of  Taxiai     ....    557 

LXXXIV.— The  War  in  the  Soudan  {continued) :— Some  Incidents  of  the  Battle  of  Tamai— Subse- 
quent Operations  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .    ^di 

LXXXV.— The  War  in  the  Soudan  {concluded)  i—Yigkt  at  the   Wells   of   Tamanieb— Flight   oi- 

OsMAN— Close  of  the  Campaign     .  .  .  .  .  .  •    S^^H 

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The  Battle  of  Tamai Frontispiece 

Anny  and  Navy I 

Mr.  J.  W.  W.  Birch 3 

The  Barracks  at  the  Residency,  Banda  Bahni,  Perak 
River,  with  the  Graves  of  Mr.  Birch  and  Captain 

Innes 6 

Blue-jackets  and  Marines  Poling  the  British  Troops  up 

the  River  Perak 7 

Attack  on  an  Afreedi  Town 12 

Tribal  Map  of  South  Africa 13 

Kreli,  Chief  of  the  Galekas iS 

Fight  between  the  Galekas  and  the  Fingoes  at  Butter- 
worth  River  (Oct.  4,  1877) 19 

General  Sir  Arthur  Cunynghame,  K.C.B.    ...  24 
Oudtshoom    Mounted    Volunteers    Starting  for    the 

Eastern  Frontier 25 

King  William's  Town,  from  near  the  Aqueduct   .        .  30 

The  Battle  of  Quintana 31 

Volunteers  Meeting  a  Loyal  Kaffir  and  his  Family  36 

Sandilli,  Chief  of  the  Gaikas,  and  his  Wives        .  37 

Sergeant  R.  G.  Scott,  V.C,  Cape  Mounted  Rifles       .  42 

Thaba  Bodgo,  the  Stronghold  of  the  Basutos       .        .  43 

A  Basuto  Scout 4$ 

The  Residency,  Maseru,  Basutoland,  Abode  of  the  Chief 

Magistrate,  Commandant  Griffiths        ...  49 

Major  W.  M.  Laurence 54 

Ali  Musjid  and  the  Khyber  Pass         ....  60 

Plan  of  the  Attack  on  Ali  Musjid  (Nov.  21,  1878)       .  61 

Shere  Ali,  Ameer  of  Cabul 66 

Mi4>  showing  March  of  General  Roberts  to  Peiwar 

Kotal  (Nov.  28  to  Dec.  1,  1878)          ...  67 

Plan  of  Attack  on  Peiwar  Kotal  (Dec  2,  1878)  .  72 

General  Roberts,  V.C 73 

First  Sight  of  Candahar 78 

General  Biddulph 79 

General  Donald  Stewart,  C.B 84 

Plan  of  the  Road  from  the  Shutargardan  Pass  to  Cabul  85 

General  Sir  5>amuel  Browne 90 


Accident  to  the  Tenth  Hussats           .        •        •        •  91 

Major  Wigram  Battye 96 

Camp  of  Ameer  Vakoub  Khan,  Gundamuk  .  .  97 
Sir   Louis   Cavagnari   {Jrom  a  Photograph  bf  Mr, 

John  Burke) .103 

Interior  of  the  Britbh  Residency,  Cabul,  looking  South  108 

Plan  of  the  Battle  of  Charasiah  (Oct.  6,  1879)     .        .  109 

The  Ameer  Vakoub  Khan 114 

Foraging  Party  of  the  67th  Attacked  by  the  Afghans 

(Nov.  9,  1879) "5 

Plan  of  the  Sherpur  Cantonments  .  .  .  .120 
Action  in  the  Chardeh  Valley  (Dec  11,  1879) :  Trying 

to  Save  the  Guns 121 

View  in  Cabul :  the  Bala  Hissar  and  Part  of  the  City 

from  Deh  Afghan 126 

Plan  of  the  Operations  round  Cabul  (Dec  9—15, 1879)  127 
Plan  of  the  Action  at  Ahmed  Kheyl,  near  Ghazni 

(April  19,  1880) 132 

Plan  of  Ghami  (1880) 133 

General  Ross's  Division  Crossing  the  Logar  River  on 

its  Way  to  Meet  Sir  Donald  Stewart    .        .        .138 

The  Bridge,  Cabul 139 

Abdur  Rahman  Khan,  Ameer  of  Afghanistan  .  .  144 
Plan  of  General  Burrows*  March  to  the  Helmund  (July 

4— 29»  1880) MS 

Colonel  Galbraith 150 

Colonel  Galbraith  at  the  Battle  of  Maiwand         .        .  151 

The  Battle-field  of  Maiwand 156 

Eedgah,  or  North  Gate,  Candahar  .  .  .  -157 
Graves  of  Major  Blackwood  and   Men  of  the  66th 

Regiment,  Maiwand 162 

Brigadier-General  H.  F.  Brooke  .        .        .163 

Plan  of  the  Sortie  from  Candahar  (Aug.  16,  1880)       .  167 

Tomb  of  Ahmed  Shah,  adjoining  the  Citadel,  C^dahar  168 

Rev.  G.  M.  Gordon 169 

Plan  of  General  Roberts's  March  from  Cabul  to  Can- 
dahar            174 

Colonel  Shewell 175 

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The  Argandab  Valley,  showing  on  the  Right  the  Hills 

of  the  Baba  Wall  Pass i8o 

PUn  of  the  Battle  of  Candahar  (Sept.  i,  i8So)    .        .181 

Lieutenant-Colonel  Brownlow,  C.B 186 

Captain  St.  John  Frome 186 

Battle  of  Baba  Wali :  the  Highlanders  Clearing  a  Village  187 
General  Sir  Frederick  Haines,  Commander-in-Chief  of 

the  Army  in  India 192 

The  Catling  Gun  as  used  in  the  British  Navy      .         .193 

Sir  Theophilus  Shepstone 198 

Interior  of  a  Zulu  Kraal  on  the  Tugela  River       .        .  199 

Colonel  Pearson 204 

General  Plan  of  the  Operations  in  Zululand,  1879        .  205 

Plan  of  the  Fight  at  Inyezane  (Jan.  22,  1879)              .  208 

Lord  Chelmsford 210 

Plan  of  the  Marches  near  Isandhlwana  between  Jan. 

I2th  and  22nd,  1879 211 

Plan  of  the  Battle  of  Isandhlwana  (Jan.  22,  1879)  214 
Isandhlwana :  the  Dash  with  the  Colours  .  .216 
Lieutenant    Melvill    {from  a  Photograph  by  Messrs. 

Heath  cmd  BuUinghanty  Plymouth)  .217 

Lieutenant  Coghill 217 

Rorke*s  Drift  before  the  Attack           ....  220 

Plan  of  the  Defences  at  Rorke*s  Drift  (Jan.  22,  1879)  .  221 

The  Defence  of  Rorke's  Drift 222 

Lieutenant  Bromhead 223 

lieutenant  Chard 224 

PlanoftheFortat  Etschowv 228 

Cetewayo,  King  of  the  Zulus 229 

Plan  of  the  Marches  of  Pearson  (Jan.,  1879)  ami  of 

Chelmsford  (April,  1879)  to  Etschowe  .        .  234 

Fort  Pearson,  on  the  Lower  Tugela  River  .        .  235 

Plan  of  the  Battle  of  Ghingilovo  (April  2,  1879)  •  237 
Dabulamanzi,  one  of  the  Zulu  Lenders  .it  Isandhlwana 

and  Ghingilovo 240 

Colonel  Red  vers  Buller 241 

Plan  of  the  Disaster  on  the  Intombe  River  (March  12, 

1879) 243 

Attack  of  the  Zulus  on  the  Escort  of  the  80th  Regi- 
ment at  the  Intombe  River 246 

Colonel  Weatherley 247 

Plan  of  the  Fight  on  the  Inhlobane  Mountain  (March 

28,  1879) 249 

Captain  the  Hon.  Ronald  Campbell  ....  252 
Commandant   Piet   Uys,   of  the  Transvaal   Mounted 

Volunteers 253 

Plan  of  the  Battle  of  Kambula  (March  29,  1879)          •  255 

MajorCJeneral  E.  Newdigate,  C.B 258 

Frontier  Light  Horse,  on  Vedette  Duty,  Discovering 

Zulus  near  Wood's  Camp,  on  Kambula  Hill.         .  259 

Colonel  Drury  Lowe,  C.B 264 

Prince  Louis  Napoleon  and   Party  l>efore   the  Zulu 

Surprise 265 

Plan  of  the  Ground  where  Prince  Luuis  Napoleon  was 

Killed  (June  i,  1879) 267 

Prince  Louis  Napoleon 270 

Kraal  where  Pnnce  Louis  Napoleon  and  his  Party  Off- 
saddled  and  were  Fired  at    .        .        .        .        .  27 1 
Peace  Messengers  from  Cetewayo        ....  276 
Lord  Chelmsford  {a  Portrait  Sketch  by  an  OffUer  made 

shortly  before  the  Battle  of  Ulundt)       .         .        .277 

Sir  Evelyn  Wood 282 

Plan  of  Laagers  on  the  March  to  Ulundi     .        .        •  283 

Dispositions  in  the  **  Square  "  at  Ulundi  (July  4,  1879)  286 

Plan  of  the  Battle  of  Ulundi  (July  4,  1879)          .        .  288 

Captain  the  Hon.  E.  V.  Wyatt-Edgell         ...  289 

Chargeof  the  17th  Lancers  at  Ulundi.        .        .        .  295 

Lancers  Returning  from  a  Foray         ....  295 

Swazi  Scout 300 

Sir  Garnet  Wols«ley*s  Camp  at  Ulundi :  Zulus  Coming 

In  to  Give  up  their  Arms 301 

Plan  of  the  Ground  where  Cetewayo  was  Captured      .  306 

Major  Marter 307 

Major  Marter  and  his  Men  Guarding  Cetewayo  in  the 

Native  Kraal 312 

Memorial  Stone  on  the  Spot  where  Prince  Louis  Napo- 
leon was  killed 313 

Sketch  Map  of  .SekukuniVs  Country      .        .         .         .318 

Sekukuni 319 

Bovane,  the  Swazi  Commander-in-Chief     .        .        ,  324 
Storming    of    .Sekukuni*s    Stronghold :    Sir    Garnet 

Wolseley  Cheering  on  the  Swazies        .        .        .  325 

Heidelberg 331 

Map  of  the  Country  l^etween  Newcastle  and  the  Trans- 
vaal       336 

Colonel  Anstruther     ....                 .         .  337 

Map  of  the  Theatre  of  War  in  the  Transvaal        .         .  342 

View  near  Pretoria 343 

Plan  of  the  Battle  of  Laing's  Nek  (Jan.  28,  1881)        .  347 

Colonel  Deane 348 

Covering  the  Retreat  of  the  58th  Regiment  after  tli.; 

Battle  of  Laing's  Nek 349 

Plan  of  the  Action  on  the  Ingogo  (Feb.  8,  1 881)          .  354 
S.   J.   Paul   Kruger,   President  of  the   South  African 

Republic 355 

Plan  of  the  March  to  Majuba  Hill  (Feb.  26,  1881)       .  360 
Sir  George   Pomeroy  Colley  {from  a  Photograph  by 

Messrs,  Maull  and  Fox,  London)          .         .         .  361 

Plan  of  the  Summit  of  Majuba  Hill  (Feb.  27, 1881)      .  366 
Sir  George  Colley  at  Majuba  Hill        .        .        .        .367 

P.  J.  Joubert,  Commandant-General  of  the  Boer  Forces  372 

President  Kruger*s  Country  House      ....  373 

Market  Street,  Pretoria 378 

Mr.  J.  H.  Brand,  President  of  the  Orange  Free  State  .  379 

The  Artillery  of  the  South  African  Republic        .        .  384 

Church  Square,  Pretoria 384 

Tewfik,  Khedive  of  Egypt 385 

The  Old  Harbour,  Alexandria 39c 

Plan  of  the  Bombardment  of  Alexandria  (July  1 1 ,  1882)  391 

The  Bombardment  of  Alexandria         ....  396 

Admiral  Seymour  (afterwards  Lord  Alcester)       .        .  397 

Arabi  Pasha 397 

Digitized  by 





The  Khedive*s  Palace  at  Ras-el-Tin,  Alexandria  .  402 
Landing  Troops  at  the  Khedive*s  Palace  at  Alexandria 

after  the  Bombardment 403 

Arabi  Pasha's  House,  Cairo  .....  408 
Map  of  the  Delta  of  the  Nile,  showing  Sites  of  Actions 

and  Strategic  Points  in  the  Egyptian  Campaign 

(July— Sept.,  1882) 409 

Lieut. -General  Sir  John  Adye,  Chief  of  the  Staff  .  414 
Major-General  Sir  E.  B.  Hamley,  Commanding    the 

Second  Division 414 

Food  for  the  Troops :  Landing  Cattle  at  Port  Said      .  415 

Suez 420 

Ismallia 420 

Major-General  Sir  Herbert  Macpherson,   Commander 

of  the  Indian  Contingent 421 

Steam-ships  Passing  through  the  Suez  Canal  .  .  426 
British  Soldiers  Cutting  a  Dam  constructed  by  Arabi 

at  ^lahuta 427 

M.  de  Lesseps 432 

Mahmoud  Fchmy,  Chief  of  Arabics  Staff  .  .  .  433 
Hand  Sketch  of  the  Action  at  Kassassin  (August  28, 

1882) 438 

The  Guards  Charging  the  Guns  at  Kassassin  .  .  439 
Lieutenant-General    Willis,    Commanding    the    Fir.^t 

Dimion 444 

Major-General  Sir  A.  Alison 444 

Street  in  Suez     . 44^ 

Citadel  of  Cairo,  from  the  Nile 450 

The  Indian  Contingent— the  13th  Bengal  Lancers  .  451 
Lieutenant  Henry  Gribble,  3rd  Dragoon  Guards  {/'rom 

a    Photograph   Ity    Messrs,    Robimon  and  SonSy 

Loiuion  and  Dttblin) 456 

Second  Battle  of  Kassassin  (Sept.  9) :  Capture  of  Two 

knipp  Guns  by  the  Royal  Marines       .        .        .457 

Wells  of  Moses,  near  Suez  ...,,.  462 

Professor  Palmer 463 


Colonel  Goodenough,  Commanding  the  Royal  Artillery  468 

Colonel  Nugent,  Commanding  the  Royal  Engineers    .  468 

Plan  of  the  Battle  of  Tel-el- Kebir  (Sept.  13,  1882)  .  469 
The  Highland  Brigade  Storming  the  Trenches  at  TeK 

el-Kebir 474 

Lieutenant  Wyatt  Rawson 475 

Lighthouse  on  the  Pharos  Island,  Alexandria  .  .  481 
H.M.S.  /m,  with  the  Gunboats  Beacon  and  Decoy ^ 

Blockading  Damietta 487 

Occupation  of  Zagazig,  after  the  Battle  of  Tel-el-Kebir  492 

Arabi's  Prison  in  the  Abbassieh  Barracks   .        .        ,  493 

Bab-el -Footoh,  one  of  the  Gates  of  Cairo    .        .        .  498 

Cavalry  Demonstration  in  the  Arab  Quarter,  Cairo      .  499 

A  Narrow  Way  in  Cairo  {by  Walter  C.  Horslcy) .  .  504 
Explosion  at  Cairo  Railway  Station  i  Bursting  of  Shells 

and  Ammunition 505 

Surgeon-General  Hanbury 510 

The  Hon.  J.  C.  Dormer,  Deputy- Adjutant-General    .  510 

The  Review  at  Cairo  :  March  Past  of  the  Beloochees  .  511 

Sir  E.  B.  Malet 516 

Arrival  of  the  Royal  Marines  at  Chatham  .  .  .517 
Lord   and  Lady  Wolseley  and  their  Daughter  {from 

a  Photo^-aph  by  y.    Thomson^    *iOKy    Grosvettor 

Street,  ir.) 523 

Free-Town,  Sierra  Leone 529 

Slave  Gang  Crossing  the  African  Desert      .         .        .  534 

The  Bahrel-Gazelle 535 

Map  of  the  Country  betw  een  Eg>'pt  and  the  Soudan     .  540 

Admiral  Sir  W.  Hewett 54 1 

Plan  of  the  March  to  El  Teb  (Feb.  28-29,  1884)        .  54^ 

General  .Sir  Gerald  Graham 547 

Plan  of  the  Battle  of  El  Teb  (Feb.  29,  1884)        .         .  55* 

The  Battle  of  El  Teb 553 

Commander  Rolfe 55^ 

Plan  of  the  Baltic  of  Tamai  (March  13,  1884)      .        .  559 

Arabs  of  the  Soudan 5^5 

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Digitized  by 



Digitized  by 



[Perak  Expedition. 

River.  The  principal  stream  by  which  this  torrid 
country  is  watered  is  the  Perak,  which,  after  a 
mountain  course  of  about  ninety  miles,  falls  into 
the  Straits  of  Malacca.  The  southern  part  of  the 
state  has  fine  alluvial  plains,  the  whole  containing 
105  cantons,  or  districts.  Until  1822  it  was  sub- 
ject to  Siam,  but  latterly  has  been  under  its  own 
hereditary  Sultans. 

It  had  become  necessary  to  have  British  ships 
of  war  permanently  stationed  in  the  Straits  of 
Malacca,  ostensibly  to  repress  the  bitter  civil  wars 
that  were  always  taking  place  among  the  Malay 
chiefs;  but,  as  our  flag  was  perpetually  suffering 
outrage  from  various  causes,  the  Earl  of  Kim- 
berley,  when  Secretary  of  State  for  the  Colonies, 
gave  orders  to  the  Governor  of  the  Straits  Settle- 
ments to  adopt  decided  measures  for  the  enforce- 
ment of  order  in  the  Malay  Peninsula — "  a  name 
which,  in  its  widest  application,  is  given  to  that 
narrow  strip  of  land  extending  from  the  broad 
mass  of  the  Hindo-Chinese  peninsula  southwards, 
from  the  parallel  of  13°  30'  north  latitude  to  that  of 
1**  14,  and  between  the  meridians  of  98*  and 
104*  17'  east — a  total  of  83,000  square  miles.*' 

In  the  September  of  1873  the  earl  had  written 
to  Sir  Andrew  Clarke,  instructing  him  to  discover 
the  advisability  of  appointing  a  British  officer  as  a 
Resident,  after  the  Anglo-Indian  fashion,  in  one  of 
the  Malay  states.  This  was,  perhaps,  chiefly  with 
reference  to  Perak,  which  was  rent  by  civil  war,  and 
other  contentions  that  frequently  found  their  way 
into  Wellesley  Province,  which  is  British  territory, 
and  where  our  police  stations  were  perpetually  being 
attacked  by  the  Malay  and  Chinese  combatants  in 

The  latter  sometimes  had  the  hardihood  to  fire 
on  the  boats  of  our  men-of-war  when  off  the  coast ; 
and  it  soon  became  evident  that  if  the  policy  of 
non-intervention  were  persisted  in  much  longer, 
the  Chinese  miners  of  Larut  and  the  Malay 
marauders  from  Perak  would  be  fighting  their  way 
into  the  streets  of  Penang  and  Singapore,  which  is 
now  deemed  the  London  of  Southern  Asia. 

During  our  first  war  with  Burmah*  the  King 
of  Siam  invaded  the  Malay  state  of  Quedah,  a 
woody,  mountainous,  and  marshy  country,  from 
which  the  East  India  Company  had  purchased 
Penang;  and  as  Britain  greatly  wished  for  the 
neutrality  of  the  Siamese  monarch,  he  was  con- 
firmed in  all  he  could  conquer,  after  committing 
awful  cruelties  upon  the  unfortunate  Malays,  who 
from  thenceforward  became  the  bitter  enemies  of 
his  people,  harassing  them  by  sea  in  their  war- 

•  See  Vol  II..  pp.  560-73. 

boats,  till  ultimately  the  Malay  pirates,  as  they 
were  justly  named,  became  the  terror  of  all 
voyagers  in  those  waters,  as  they  seized  all  mer- 
chant vessels,  and  ravaged  that  portion  of  the 
peninsula  which  belonged  to  the  King  of  Siam. 

This  state  of  matters  led  to  the  outrage  which 
we  must  first  record,  as  leading  to  the  Perak 
expedition.  A  war  of  disputed  succession  which 
ensued  there,  induced  Lieutenant-Colonel  Sir 
William  Drummond  Jervois,  C.E.  (an  officer  who 
had  served  in  the  Kaffir  war  of  1846-7,  and 
surveyed  2,000  miles  of  the  country).  Governor  of 
the  Straits  Settlements  in  1875,  to  accept  a  sur- 
render of  sovereignty  from  Ismail,  a  pretender  to 
the  crown  of  Perak,  On  this,  Mr.  J.  W.  W.  Birch, 
formerly  Colonial  Secretary  at  Singapore,  was 
appointed  as  Resident — a  post  for  which  he  was 
eminently  qualified. 

Matters  remained  quiet  in  our  newly-acquired 
territory  till  early  in  November,  1875,  when  Ismail 
— ^repenting  perhaps  of  his  arrangement,  which  in- 
cluded the  settlement  of  a  lawful  Sultan,  named 
Abdullah — rose  in  arms  at  the  head  of  some  robber 
chiefs  and  their  followers,  attacked  the  British 
Residency,  tore  down  the  standard,  and  the 
placards  which  officially  announced  the  change  of 
rulers,  barbarously  murdered  Mr.  Birch  when  in 
his  bath,  shamefully  mutilated  his  body,  and 
carried  it  off;  but  his  assistant,  Mr.  Swettenhom, 
escaped  to  Singapore. 

All  the  native  rajahs  were  suspected  of  com- 
plicity in  this  outrage,  the  ultimate  object  of  which 
was  to  expel  the  British,  and  place  the  plotter  Ismail 
on  the  throne. 

To  punish  them.  Captain  Innes  of  the  Royal 
Engineers,  with  170  bayonets,  60  of  which 
belonged  to  H.M.  loth,  or  North  Lincolnshire 
Regiment,  with  some  armed  peons,  and  the  sepoys 
of  Mr.  Birch's  body-guard,  attacked  with  musketry 
and  rockets  a  strong  stockade  held  by  the  Maha- 
rajah Lela  on  the  bank  of  the  Perak  River.  Innes 
was  repulsed  and  slain,  while  Lieutenants  George 
Booth  and  Armstrong  Elliot,  with  several  men  of 
the  loth,  were  wounded,  some  of  them  severely. 

As  they  were  retiring  in  good  order,  the  stockade 
was  abandoned  by  the  Maharajah,  in  whose  village 
Mr.  Birch  had  been  murdered. 

On  tidings  of  this  event  reaching  Singapore 
General  Colbome  at  once  left  that  place  for  Perak, 
at  the  head  of  300  men  of  the  80th  (or  Stafford- 
shire Volunteers) ;  artillery  was  sent  from  Bengal ; 
and  from  the  China  station  there  came  the  Modeste 
(corvette),  the  Thistle^  Fly^  and  Ringdove^  three 

The  Residency,   which  was  situated   near  the 

Digitized  by 


Perak  Expedition.  J 


Perak  River,  was  at  that  time  secure,  as  the 
Ciovernor,  prior  to  Colborne's  landing,  had  manned 
it  with  nearly  800  European  troops,  and  80 
artillerymen,  while  the  Sultan  Abdullah  offered  to 
aid  him  with  his  men  and  war-prahs ;  but  by  this 
time  the  Malays  of  Ismail,  encouraged  by  the 
death  and  defeat  of  Innes,  had  become  both  de- 
fiant and  confident,  and  resolved  to  hold  their 
stockade  against  us. 

Against  these  works,  which  stood  up  amid  the 
green,  steamy  jungle,  and  dense  mangroves  that 
fringed  the  oozy  bank 
of  the  stream,  a  decided 
movement  was  made  by 
a  body  of  troops  under 
Commander  Stirling,  on 
the  14th  of  November, 
1875,  as  ^^  states  thus  in 
his  despatch  to  Admiral 
Ryder,  then  command- 
ing the  squadron  at  Hong 
Kong : — 

"  On  Sunday  morning 
all  the  available  officers 
and  inen  of  H.M  ships 
Thistle    and    Fly    were 
brought  up  the  river  and 
quartered    in   the   Resi- 
dency; native  boats  were 
fitted     to    receive     two 
12-pound  howitzer  field- 
pieces,     one     7-pounder 
boat*s  -  gun,      two     24  - 
pounder    naval   rockets, 
and    a    Cohorn  mortar- 
tube,    and    with    much  '^'   ^' 
difficulty  fifteen  other  na- 
tive boats  were  obtained  to  transport  the  troops ; 
and    on    the   same   evening,   after    reconnoitring 
as  far  as   Qualla  Truss,  a  place  of  disembarka- 
tion  was   determined  on,   on  the  right  bank  of 
the  river,  about  a  mile  below  that  stockade  which 
was  attacked  on   the  7th  instant      On    Monday 
morning   the  whole  force    moved    up    the   river, 
and  disembarked  at  the    place    determined   on, 
without  opp)osition.     When  about  six  hundred  yards 
from  the  first  stockade  at  Qualla  Biah,  the  enemy 
opened  fire  on  our  boats,  which  was  at  once  re- 
plied to,  but  we  were  unable  to  silence  them  or 
drive  them  out  of  the  stockade  till  our  boats  were 
within  three  hundred  yards  of  and  enfilading  it,  and 
the  artillery  had  brought  their  guns  into  play,  when, 
after  having  received  no  reply  to  our  fire  for  some 
time,  the  troops  advanced,  took  possession,  and 
found  it  abandoned   Two  guns  were  captured  here. 

"  Continuing  our  way  up  the  river,  I  directed  the 

rockets  and  shells  to  be  thrown  into  the  jungle  to 

clear  the   way   for  the  troops,   who  burned    the 

houses  on  the  way  as  they  advanced ;  and  about  a 

mile  below  Passir  Sala  the  enemy  again  made  a 

stand  and  opened  fire  on  us  with  their  rifles,  but 

with   no  effect,   and  they  were  soon   dislodged 

Nearing  Passir  Sala,  to  about  a  thousand  yards, 

two  guns  were  brought  to  bear  on  us,  and  also  a 

fire  of  musketry  on  our  flank ;  the  latter,  however, 

was  quickly  silenced    by  the   advancing  troops, 

while  the  boats  shelled 

and  rocketed  the  village 

of  Passir  Sala,  taking  up 

a  position  at  six  hundred 

yarils.  The  practice  from 

the  7-pounder  gun  and 

rockets  was  excellent" 

This  attack  and  ad- 
vance, which  had  been 
carefully  projected  by 
H.  M.  Commissioner, 
Major  Dunlop,  by  Cap- 
tain Stirling  of  the 
Thistle^  and  Captain 
Whitla  of  the  loth  Foot, 
proved  successful,  and 
the  resistance  at  Passir 
Sala,  where  the  Maha- 
rajah Lela  was  supposed 
to  be,  was  brief  indeed. 

The  troops  carried  the 
village  at  a  rush  and  with 
a  hearty  cheer,  as  the 
slender  Naval  Brigade 
was  landed  The  stock- 
ade surrounding  Lela's 
house  was  dashed  to  pieces  by  cannon-shot ;  the 
house  was  bombarded,  pillaged,  and  given  to  the 
flames,  while  the  enemy,  shrieking  and  yelling  with 
rage  and  dismay,  brandishing  their  rifles  and  dag- 
gers, and  with  their  long  coarse  hair  floating  on 
their  shoulders,  fled  on  every  hand;  but  it  was 
impossible  to  estimate  their  loss,  as  they  contrived 
to  bear  away  all  their  killed  and  wounded. 

Here  were  taken  six  pieces  of  cannon,  a  quantity 
of  small  arms  and  ammunition,  and  Mr.  Birch's 
books,  papers,  and  personal  property  were  re- 
captured The  whole  force  engaged  numbered 
only  450  men ;  of  these  300  were  fierce,  active, 
and  wiry  little  Ghoorkas,  armed  with  their  native 
kookerie,  or  crooked  knife,  in  addition  to  the 
bayonet,  and  the  remainder  were  men  of  the  loth 
and  artillery. 
The  officer  commanding  in  Perak,  General  Col- 


Digitized  by 



[Perak  ExpediuoD. 

borne,  having  been  informed  that  Lela  and  the  pre- 
tender Ismail  had  marched  through  a  place  named 
Blanja  and  advanced  to  the  Kinta,  resolved,  on 
the  14th  December,  with  the  concurrence  of  Major 
Dunlop,  and  Captain  Stirling  of  the  Thistle^  to 
advance  instahtly,  through  the  dense  and  all  but 
impervious  jungle,  from  the  bank  of  the  Perak 
River  to  that  of  the  Kinta,  and  take  possession  of 
the  town  of  that  name. 

Three  miles  from  Blanja  the  first  opposition  was 
encountered,  at  a  turn  of  the  narrow  path,  where  a 
fire  was  suddenly  opened  on  the  advanced  guard, 
led  by  Lieutenant  George  Blagrove  Paton,  of  the 
I  St  battalion  of  the  loth  Foot  It  came  from  a 
stockade,  which  was  artfully  concealed  amid  the 
dense  greenery  of  the  jungle,  at  about  thirty  yards* 

He  returned  the  fire  with  promptitude,  and  a 
Royal  Artillery  gun,  with  a  naval  rocket-tube,  was 
at  once  brought  to  bear  upon  the  position,  which 
was  speedily  captured ;  but  among  other  casualties 
Dr.  Randall  received  a  severe  wound  in  the  thigh. 
Here  again  it  proved  impossible  to  ascertain 
either  the  strength  or  loss  of  the  enemy,  who 
opened  fire  from  another  stockade  situated  on 
rising  ground,  which  suddenly  barred  the  advance 
of  our  troops,  after  a  further  march  of  ten  miles. 

It  was  instantly  carried  by  storm,  and  on  the 
following  morning,  the  15th  of  December,  our 
soldiers  and  blue-jackets  advanced  again,  and  with- 
out molestation  reached  the  mines  of  Papan.  From 
that  point  a  reconnoitring  party,  led  by  Mr.  Swet- 
tenhom  and  guided  by  a  friendly  rajah,  named 
Mahmoud,  went  forward,  and  halted  on  open 
ground,  within  two  miles  of  Kinta. 

On  the  17th  another  stockade  was  stormed  by 
the  main  body,  and  the  enemy  fled  to  their  boats 
on  the  river ;  after  which  Kinta  was  captured,  and 
General  Colborne  deemed  it  necessary  to  occupy 
all  that  part  of  the  country  with  his  troops,  till 
matters  were  settled  and  the  murderers  of  Mr. 
Birch  surrendered  to  justice. 

It  was  now  well  known  at  this  time  that  the 
treacherous  Ismail  and  his  adherent  the  Maharajah 
Lela  were  lurking  in  the  adjacent  jungle,  though 
their  exact  hiding-place  could  not  be  ascertained 
The  followers  of  the  latter  had  begun  to  desert 
him  in  considerable  numbers,  and  several  China- 
men offered,  if  well  paid  for  the  deed,  to  lay  his 
head,  and  the  heads  of  all  the  other  rebel  chiefs,  at 
the  foot  of  the  general,  who,  of  course,  rejected  the 
barbarous  proposal. 

The  Victoria  Cross  was  won  by  Captain,  after- 
wards Major,  George  Nicholas  Channer,  of  the 
Bengal  Staff  Corps,  during  the  operations  against 

these  successive  stockades,  and  the  following  is  the 
record  of  the  particular  act  of  bravery  for  which 
that  coveted  distinction  was  awarded  to  him : — 

"For  having,  with  the  greatest  gallantr>%  been 
the  first  to  spring  into  the  enemy's  stockade,  to 
which  he  had  been  detached  with  a  small  party  of 
the  ist  Ghoorka  Light  Infantry,  on  the  afternoon 
of  the  20th  December,  1875,  by  the  officer  com- 
manding the  Malacca  column,  to  procure  intelli- 
gence as  to  its  strength,  position,  &c  Major 
Channer  got  completely  in  rear  of  the  enemy's 
position,  and  finding  himself  so  close  that  he  could 
hear  the  voices  of  the  men  inside — ^who  were  cook- 
ing at  the  time,  and  keeping  no  look-out — ^he 
beckoned  to  his  men,  and  the  whole  party  stole 
quietly  forward  to  within  a  few  paces  of  the 
stockade.  On  jumping  in,  he  shot  the  first  man 
dead  with  his  revolver.  His  party  then  came  up  and 
entered  the  stockade,  which  was  of  a  most  formid- 
able nature,  surrounded  by  a  bamboo  palisade. 
About  seven  yards  within  was  a  log-house,  loop- 
holed,  with  two  narrow  entrances,  and  trees  laid 
latitudinally  to  the  thickness  of  two  feet  The 
officer  commanding  reports,  that  if  Major  Channer, 
by  his  foresight,  coolness,  and  intrepidity,  had  not 
taken  this  stockade,  a  great  loss  of  life  must  have 
occurred,  from  the  fact  of  his  being  unable  to  bring 
guns  to  bear  on  it ;  from  the  steepness  of  the  hill 
and  density  of  the  jungle,  it,  must  have  been  taken 
at  the  point  of  the  bayonet"  {London  Gazette^ 
14th  April,  1876.) 

"George  Nicholas  Channer,"  says  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  KnoUys,  "  entered  the  Bengal  army  in  1861. 
In  the  winter  of  that  year  he  took  part  in  the 
Umbeyla  campaign.  For  his  services  he  received 
a  medal  and  clasp.  In  1864  he  served  with 
General  Wylde's  column  in  the  Jadoon  country, 
and  then  went  through  the  Luschais  campaign.  As 
captain  he  accompanied  the  ist  Ghoorkas  to  the 
Malay  Peninsula.  During  the  operations  of  1875-6 
he  was  present  at  numerous  engagements,  and  at 
the  surprise  and  capture  of  the  Malay  stockades  in 
the  Bukit  Putas  Pass,  when  he  led  the  advanced 
party,  composed  of  his  own  regiment" 

Sir  William  Drummond  Jervois,  Governor  of  the 
Straits  Settlements,  at  a  meeting  of  the  Legislative 
Council,  in  reference  to  the  first  circumstances 
which  rendered  the  presence  of  Mr.  Birch  as 
Resident,  on  the  Indian  system,  necessary  at 
Perak,  announced  that  the  chief  cause  of  his  death 
and  the  consequent  failure  was  the  incompetence 
of  the  Sultan  Abdullah,  whom  we  had  placed  upon 
the  musnud  or  throne. 

Sir  William,  a  distinguished  officer,  who  had 
served  against  the  Boers  in  1842,  and  been  Director 

Digitized  by 


Pcrak  Expedition.] 


of  Fortifications  under  Sir  John  Burgoyne  twenty 
years  afterwards,  and  secretary  to  the  Permanent 
Defence  Committee  under  the  Duke  of  Cambridge, 
stated,  "that  Abdullah,  contrary  to  the  reports 
which  had  previously  been  made  of  him,  and  which 
represented  him  as  vicious  in  character  and  feeble 
in  health,  spoke  and  acted  in  a  manner  which  gave 
promise  that  he  would  well  discharge  his  duties  as 
a  Sultan.  But  from  all  I  can  learn,"  he  added, 
"this  apparent  improvement  in  his  bearing  and 
conduct  was  due  to  his  having  temporarily  aban- 
doned the  pernicious  use  of  opium.  Shortly  after 
his  accession  he  speedily  relapsed  into  his  old 
habits.  He  has,  moreover,  shown  much  duplicity, 
and  this,  combined  with  immorality,  will  account 
for  his  having  become  unpopular  with  the  people ; 
while  the  prevalent  habit  of  opium-smoking,  to 
which  he  is  addicted,  has  been  the  great  stumbling- 
block  to  the  conduct  of  business." 

The  Resident  had  proposed  a  scheme  of  taxation, 
to  put  an  end  to  the  black-mail  levied  by  each  local 
rajah  on  that  part  of  the  Perak  River  near  his 
dwelling ;  but  Abdullah  had  refused  to  ratify  it,  and 
obstinately  disr^arding  all  advice,  instead  of  living 
within  the  income  prescribed  for  him  by  the  treaty 
of  Pankor,  resorted  to  the  old  Oriental  policy  of 
extortion  among  his  subjects. 

Under  such  a  regime  Perak  could  not  prosper, 
though  Larut  did ;  but  there  the  British  Govern- 
ment was  the  ruling  power.  Eventually  Sir  William 
Jervois  seems  to  have  come  to  the  conclusion  that 
the  deposed  pretender,  Ismail,  was  personally 
attached  to  British  interests,  but  was  swayed  by 
the  views  of  the  chiefs  who  surrounded  him,  and 
was  afraid  to  let  that  fact  be  known. 

In  the  end  he  wrote  to  Sir  William,  suggesting 
that  he  would  rule  Perak,  and  be  guided  by  a 
Resident;  but  the  former  declined  the  proposal 
"  It  would  be  absurd  to  do  so,"  wrote  Sir  William. 
"  We  have  deposed  Ismail,  and  put  up  Abdullah ; 
and  now  it  would  be  absurd  to  depose  Abdullah 
and  put  up  Ismail" 

On  visiting  Abdullah,  he  found  that  the  weak- 
ness of  hb  character  had  not  been  exaggerated. 
"  His  imbecility  was  manifested  at  every  turn,"  he 
reported  "  As,  however,  I  wished  to  give  him  a 
fair  trial  of  the  promises  of  amendment  which  he 
had  made  to  me,  I  determined,  if  he  would 
consent,  to  adopt  a  policy  of  ruling  the  state  in  his 
name.  Under  the  proposed  policy,  British  officers 
will  hold  in  their  hands  the  control  of  the  revenues, 
the  appointment  of  officials,  the  imposition  or 
removal  of  taxes,  the  superintendence  of  the  police, 
the  establishment  of  new  stations,  the  formation  of 
new  roads  and  communications-  in  fact,  everything 

connected  with  the  administration  of  the  country. 
In  a  word,  my  proposal  is  to  govern  the  country  in 
the  Sultan's  name  by  British  officers,  to  be  styled 
Queen's  Commissioners,  aided  by  a  Malay  council" 

These  were  the  innovations  which  were  so  much 
resented  by  Ismail  and  Lela,  and  which  led  to 
the  murder  of  Mr.  Birch.  They  nearly  amounted 
to  the  virtual  annexation  of  all  Perak ;  but  the 
Earl  of  Carnarvon  (who,  upon  the  formation  of 
Mr.  Disraeli's  cabinet  in  February,  1874,  had  been 
again  appointed  Secretary  of  State  for  the  Colonies), 
together  with  the  British  Government,  fully  en- 
dorsed the  entire  policy  of  Sir  William  Jervois  at 

The  4th  of  January,  1876,  saw  the  inauguration 
of  fresh  operations  against  the  insurgent  Malays. 
On  that  day  Brigadier-General  Ross,  advancing 
from  Qualla  Kangsa,  attacked  and  stormed  Kotah 
Lama,  the  stronghold,  or  nest,  of  the  most  turbulent 
of  the  natives. 

To  achieve  this  he  had  moved  along  both  banks 
of  the  Perak  River,  but  in  greatest  strength  along 
the  left,  where  Lieutenant-Colonel  Talbot  Ashley 
Cox,  of  the  3rd  Buffs,  who  had  served  at  the  fall  of 
Sebastopol,  and  been  wounded  at  the  attack  on  the 
Redan,  commanded,  with  some  of  his  own  regi- 
ment, a  party  of  the  Royal  Artillery,  with  one  field- 
piece,  and  the  ist  Ghoorka  Light  Infantry.  On 
the  other  bank  was  Captain  Young,  with  a  party  of 
the  latter  corps  and  only  fifty  of  the  Buffs ;  while  in 
the  mid-channel  a  detachment  in  three  boats  crept 
upward  under  Captain  Gardiner.  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  Cox  boldly  entered  the  village  of  Kotah 
Lama,  disarmed  all  its  male  inhabitants  and  sent 
word  thereof  to  the  brigadier. 

That  officer,  with  his  staff,  then  crossed  to  a 
ghaut,  or  landing-place,  near  the  centre  of  the 
village,  when  suddenly  his  slender  party  was  nearly 
surrounded  by  a  crowd  of  yelling  and  ferocious 
Malays,  armed  with  spears  and  muskets — ^a  crowd, 
of  whose  arms  Colonel  Cox  could  not  have  been 
cognisant ;  and  but  for  the  steadiness  of  our  blue- 
jackets and  marines,  none  of  the  staff  would  have 

"  Just  before  this  attack  was  made,"  to  quote  the 
London  Gazette  of  i8th  February,  1876,  "several 
officers  moved  away  in  the  direction  of  the  river, 
200  yards  distant  Major  Hawkins  was,  it  is  sup- 
posed, following  them,  when  he  was  fatally  wounded 
by  a  spear.  No  one  seems  to  have  seen  him  fall ; 
but  Captain  Garforth  reports  that  William  Sloper, 
A.B.,  came  up  to  him  on  the  ground,  shot  two 
Malays  who  were  coming  towards  him,  and  stopped 
with  him,  until  he  said,  *Save  yourself;  you  can 
do  no  good  to  me  now.' " 

Digitized  by 



[Perak  Expedition. 

Surgeon-Major  W.  CoUis,  of  the  ist  battalion  of 
Buffs,  who  accompanied  this  expedition,  reported 
medically  that  in  all  fatal  cases  the  Malay  spears 
completely  transfixed  the  body ;  "  and  the  fact  of 
men  having  been  wounded  in  several  places,  showed 
the  close  quarters  that  the  force  fought  at,  and  the 
determined  resistance  of  the  Malays." 

The  latter  fled  into  the  jungle ;  Kotah  Lama, 

Solama,  to  the  end  that  together  they  might  effect 
a  surprise — which  was  successfully  achieved. 

On  the  19th  January,  1876,  I  hey  attacked  and 
completely  routed  Ismail,  with  great  loss.  He  had  to 
fly,  and  leave  behind  him  seventeen  elephants,  with 
all  his  luggage.  Among  those  killed  under  his 
standard  were  Pandak  Indut,  the  actual  assassin  of 
Mr.  Birch,  and  the  Rajah  Kadda,  who  had  been 


which  contained  great  stores  of  rice,  was  given  to 
the  flames ;  after  which  Brigadier  Ross,  with  his 
entire  force,  marched  back  to  Qualla  Kangsa. 

Sir  William  Jervois  about  this  time  obtained 
certain  information  that  Ismail,  with  an  armed 
force,  was  hovering  among  the  wild  and  primitive 
mountains  that  overlook  the  Perak  River.  On  this 
he  despatched  Superintendent  Hewick,  with  a  Body 
of  armed  police  and  some  of  the  Sultan  Abdullah's 
most  trusty  soldiers,  to  open  a  communication 
with  Che  Karim,  a  friendly  chief,  at  a  place  n^med 

active  in  the  enlistment  of  the  hostile  and  hardy 
Patani  men  against  us  from  their  own  territory, 
which  is  subject  to  the  King  of  Siam,  and  lies 
north  of  the  peninsula. 

On  the  2ist  of  the  same  month  our  troops 
attacked  with  rockets  and  artillery  the  village  of 
Rathalma,  drove  out  the  Malays,  and  put  them 
completely  to  flight,  without  a  casualty  on  our  side ; 
and  after  much  wandering  and  misery  in  the  jungles 
and  other  wild  places,  the  ex-Sultan  Ismail  was 
captured  on  tho  22  nd  of  March,  and  in  token 

Digitized  by 


Perak  Expedition.)  THE    SURRENDER    OF    ISMAIL. 



















Digitized  by 




[Perak  Expedition. 

of  his  complete  surrender,  laid  his  royal  in- 
signia at  the  feet  of  Major  Anson,  at  Penang,  from 
whence  he  was  sent  to  Singapore,  together  with 
another  hostile  leader,  named  Datu  Sagor,  who 
was  treated  as  a  civil  prisoner,  while  the  luckless 
Ismail  was  released  on  his  own  recognisances. 
"This  petty  war  might  have  grown  into  one  of 
great  importance,  had  there  been  a  Burmese 
difficulty  on  the  tapisy  and  still  more  so  if  we  had 
been  embroiled  with  the  Chinese ;  for  the  Perak 
revolt  was  only  crushed  by  the  reinforcements 
which  we  poured  in  from  Calcutta  and  Hong 
Kong.  Little  as  this  conflict  is  known  of  at  home, 
we  had  no  less  than  three  naval  brigades  employed 
in  it,  or  attached  to  the  different  forces.  That 
under  Captain  Alexander  Butler  accompanied 
Captain  N.  C.  Singleton,  of  the  Ringdove^  and 
comprised  officers  and  men  of  that  ship  and  the 
Modeste^  which  co-operated  with  Major-General 
Colborne  on  the  Perak  River;  that  under  com- 
mander Edmond  H.  J.  Garforth,  of  the  Philomel^ 
comprising  officers  and  men  of  the  Modeste, 
Philomel^  and  Ringdove^  who  co-operated  with 
Brigadier-General  Ross  in  the  Larut  field  force 
(northern  attack);  and  that  under  Commander 
Francis  Stirling,  of  H.M.S.  Thistle^  which  co- 
operated with  Lieutenant-Colonel  Hill,  in  Sunghir 
Ujong,  and  in  the  Sunghir  and  Lakut  Rivers." 

A  complete  blockade  of  the  northern  bank  of 
the  Perak  River  was  established  under  Commander 
Bruce,  R.N.  This  was  to  prevent  the  secret  intro- 
duction of  arms,  ammunition  and  other  warlike 
stores.  General  Colborne  highly  appreciated  and 
applauded  the  sailor-like  qualities  of  the  officers 
and  men  of  Her  Majesty's  ships,  whose  heavy  work 
consisted  in  poling — as  oars  were  useless  in  jungly 
waters — the  boats  laden  with  guns,  shot,  shell,  and 
stores,  for  days  against  strong  currents  that  ran  at 
the  rate  of  four  miles  an  hour,  under  a  fierce  and 
burning  sun,  and  in  carrying  guns,  rockets,  and 
ammunition,  in  addition  to  their  own  arms  and 
accoutrements,  "through  the  dense  dark  jungle, 
over  paths  that  were  so  nearly  impassable  that  only 
seven  miles  could  be  gained  in  each  day." 

The  naval  brigade  under  Captain  Butler  was  for 
an  entire  month  without  vegetables  or  bread,  and 
had  no  other  food  than  tinned  meat  and  the  flesh 
occasionally  of  a  wild  buffalo.  They  were  often 
drenched  by  torrents  of  tropical  rain,  and  had 
frequently  to  march  through  muddy  water  waist- 
belt  deep.  On  their  advance  to  Kinta,  they  had 
to  toil  their  way  through  a  jungle  so  dense  and 
dark,  that  during  all  that  time  not  a  vestige  of  sun 
or  sky  was  visible  overhead;  and  during  the  ten 
days'  advance  they  were  without  cover  of  any  kind, 

and  slept  in  the  damp,  dewy  open.  "The 
rapidity  of  the  successes  of  the  various  expeditions," 
wrote  Vice-Admiral  Ryder,  in  his  despatch,  dated 
Singapore,  17th  January,  1876,  "was owing,  I  learn 
from  officers  of  rank,  mainly  to  the  special  and 
professional  aid  given  by  the  naval  brigades,  as 
rocket  and  gun  parties,  and  in  fitting  and  managing 
the  country  boats,  which  alone  could  be  used.  It 
has  been  most  gratifying  to  me  to  hear  from  all 
quarters,  but  one  opinion  of  the  blue-jackets  and 
marines — their  constant  cheerfulness  in  under- 
taking the  heavy  daily  work  which  fell  to  their 
share,  their  intelligence  and  zeal." 

All  the  commanders  of  these  brigades  were  pro- 
moted and  decorated ;  nor  were  two  humble  seamen 
forgotten — one  who  saved  the  life  of  Dr.  Towns- 
hend  at  Kotah  Lama  by  slaying  the  Malays  who 
were  about  to  spear  him,  and  the  other  who 
remained  to  the  last  by  the  expiring  Major  Haw- 
kins, and  shot  those  who  were  about  to  muti- 
late his  body.  And  so  ended  the  expedition  to 

When  the  latter  was  ceded  to,  or  acquired  by, 
the  British  Crown,  the  Malays  applied  for  thousands 
of  acres  in  excess  of  what  we  could  allot  Again, 
the  Dinding  Islands — where  the  Dutch  had  once  a 
fort  on  the  fine  harbour  formed  between  them  and 
the  mainland — had  no  sooner  cctoie  into  our  pos- 
session than  the  Malay  population  in  a  few  months 
increased  from  what  Sir  Andrew  Clarke  described 
as  a  handful  to  four  hundred  souls.  The  largest 
isle  is  twenty-one  miles  in  circumference. 

"Under  British  sway,"  says  a  writer  on  the 
Straits  Settlements,  "  these  have  increased  till  they 
number  one  hundred  and  twenty  (per  square  mile), 
while  in  the  States  governed  by  native  sovereigns 
they  have  sunk  down  to  about  seven  souls  in  the 
square  mile.  The  chiefs  cannot  control  their  oi^*n 
subjects,  far  less  Chinese  emigrants  from  the  Straits 
Settlements ;  and  the  question  is,  who  shall  keep 
the  peace  in  the  Malay  Peninsula  ?  If  it  be  not 
kept,  then  some  of  the  richest  and  most  fertile 
provinces  of  Asia  will  become  what  Sir  Andrew 
Clarke  found  in  Larut  and  Perak  when  he  went  to 
the  Straits — *huge  cockpits  of  slaughter.'  The 
contagion  of  turmoil  will  ever  be  in  danger  of 
spreading  into  our  own  territories,  unless  we  defend 
them  by  a  force  which  might  be  better  employed 
in  maintaining  a  just  and  orderly  government  all 
through  the  peninsula,  protecting  its  trade  with 
our  colonies,  and  gradually  evolving  out  of  lands 
devastated  by  piracy,  plunder,  chronic  wars  of 
succession,  and  changeless  misrule,  a  well-regulated, 
peaceful,  industrious,  and  affluent  confederation  of 

Digitized  by 


TlM  Pauah  Valley.] 




About  the  period  of  the  foregoing  expedition  to 
Perak,  another  was  despatched  to  operate  against 
the  Jowakis,  a  ferocious  hill-tribe  on  the  Afghan 

The  Indian  Government  had  adopted  t^^^o  lines 
of  policy  on  the  North-western  frontier  of  our 
Indian  Empire.  Following  the  advice  of  that  able 
administrator,  General  John  Jacob,  upon  the  Scinde 
border,  they  recognised  the  authority  of  the  Khan 
of  Khelat,  and  through  his  power  were  enabled  to 
bridle  the  lawlessness  of  the  armed  clans,  without 
having  to  undertake  the  duty  of  punishing  the 
offenders  themselves;  but  our  policy  upon  the 
Punjab  frontier  was  rather  to  foster  the  mutual 
hatreds  and  jealousies  of  the  various  hill-tribes, 
and  preclude  the  commencement  of  that  which 
scarcely  ever  existed — cohesion  and  the  growth  of 
a  responsible  power  among  them ;  but,  unlike  the 
Scottish  Highlanders,  the  clannish  attachment  of  all 
Afghan  tribes  is  more  to  the  community  than  even 
to  the  chief  Hence  arose  the  continual  raids,  and 
our  expeditions  to  avenge  them.  We  can  always 
enter  their  rocky  fastnesses  when  in  force,  and 
drive  back  their  armed  bands,  at  a  daily  loss  of  life, 
but  beyond  diminishing  their  numbers,  we  can  do 
little  more. 

The  Jowakis  are  a  branch  of  the  Afreedies,  a 
great  sept  which  is  split  up  into  many  tribes  and 
factions,  but  occupying  a  vast  extent  of  the  hilly 
country  that  overlooks  the  plain  of  Peshawur  from 
the  west  and  south.  In  the  October  of  1877  they 
made  a  sudden  raid  and,  descending  swiftly  from 
their  secluded  mountain  fastnesses,  after  slaughter- 
ing defenceless  peasants  and  giving  their  villages 
to  the  flames,  had  the  hardihood  to  attack  a 
detachment  of  our  troops  that  was  guarding  com- 
missariat stores  near  the  frontier,  undeterred  by  a 
punishment  they  had  received  in  the  preceding 
month  of  August,  when  Colonel  Daniel  Mocatta, 
of  the  Bengal  Staff  Corps,  then  commanding  the 
3rd  Sikhs,  advanced  with  a  small  force  through  the 
savage  Tortung  Pass  into  the  Turki  and  Sheendah 
Valleys,  where  he  burned  thirty  villages,  and  did 
a  great  deal  of  other  damage. 

October  and  November  saw  the  raids  of  the 
Jowakis  continued,  especially  at  night,  like  those 
of  the  moss-troopers  of  old  In  these.  Major 
Lance,  of  the  2nd  Punjab  Cavalry,  was  severely 
wounded,  and  many  of  our  Khuttuck  allies  were 

murdered,  and  their  horses  and  property  carried 

The  latter  are  a  numerous  tribe  upon  the 
Afghan  border,  westward  of  the  Indus,  where 
they  occupy  the  Salt  range  to  Kalabagh,  upon  the 
Indus.  Their  arms  are  long  juzails  and  sabres, 
with  round  shields,  having  four  brass  bosses  in  the 
centre  of  each.  Their  garments  are  long  and  flow- 
ing, with  ample  scarves,  worn,  like  the  Scottish 
plaid,  over  the  left  shoulder  and  across  the  breast 

In  November,  1877,  a  regular  expedition  was 
detailed  to  act  against  the  Jowakis,  led  by  Generals 
Sir  F.  Pollock,  K.CS.I.,  of  the  Bengal  Staff  Corps, 
Ross,  and  Keyes,  C.B., — the  last  as  brigadier, 
commanding  the  Punjab  Frontier  Force. 

General  Keyes  led  the  main  body,  which  con- 
sisted of  2,000  men  (including  the  5th  Regiment 
of  Ghoorkas),  a  small  number  of  cavalry,  and  six 

Advancing  steadily  through  the  perilous  defiles, 
Keyes  successfully  attacked  the  Jowakis,  destroyed 
their  villages  and  crops,  and  blew  up  or  dismounted 
a  number  of  their  fortified  towers.  Among  them 
was  one  of  considerable  strength,  at  a  place  called 
Khudhar,  in  the  Paiah  Valley. 

"Na  I  column  came  through  the  Tortung 
Pass,"  says  Lieutenant  Oswald  C.  Radford,  2nd 
battalion  of  the  25  th,  or  King's  Own  Borderers, 
Staff  Officer  to  Colonel  Mocatta ;  "  No.  2  column 
through  the  Gundiali  Ravine,  and  met  at  Turkl 
From  the  low  hills  overlooking  the  Paiah  Valley 
an  extensive  prospect  was  obtained;  the  valley, 
which  is  wonderfully  fertile,  being  studded  with 
picturesque  little  villages,  each  walled  and  having  a 
round  tower.  We  occupied  all  the  villages,  which 
we  found  deserted,  the  enemy  having  carried  off 
their  goods  and  chattels.  All  the  time  we  were 
there,  the  Jowakis  sat  on  the  surrounding  hills,  and 
fired  at  us  from  behind  rocks  and  bushes,  &c, 
wounding  several  men.  The  time  was  spent  in 
cutting  their  crops,  surveying  the  country,  and 
blowing  up  their  towers." 

The  ist  December  saw  General  Keyes  in  front 
of  Jummoo,  the  principal  stronghold  of  the  Jowakis, 
a  town  situated  between  two  mountains,  and  ap- 
proached through  the  Valley  of  Jummoo,  which  is 
rich,  well  cultivated,  and  watered  by  a  fine  stream, 
but  surrounded  by  hills  steep  and  rocky,  and,  with 
the  exception  of  a  thin  scrub  of  thorn,  quite  bare. 

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The  firearms  of  the  Jowakis  are  long-barrelled 
flint-lock  and  fire-lock  guns — the  latter  of  ancient 
and  primitive  construction — furnished  with  matches, 
and  all  having  long  loose  slings. 

No  continued  occupation  of  the  Jowaki  country 
was  contemplated,  but  simply  the  punishment  of 
the  people,  the  surrender  of  their  arms,  and  the 
general  opening  up  of  the  district 

In  front  of  Jummoo  the  troops  were  chiefly 
posted  along  a  bare,  stony  hill,  the  crest  of  which 
has  been  described  as  forming  a  perfect  Redan, 
open  towards  the  rear.  Along  this  line  were  built 
breastworks  of  stone,  to  prevent  the  troops  from 
being  fired  into  in  the  rear ;  and  between  the  breast- 
works and  traverses  the  soldiers  constructed  little 
huts  and  tents  with  their  own  blankets,  and  rough 
country  matting  found  in  the  villages — shelter  which, 
though  rather  imperfect,  was  better  than  none 
when  the  rainy  weather  came. 

"  To  form  the  left  attack  on  Jummoo,  we  started 
at  three  a.m.  on  the  ist  December,"  wrote  Lieu- 
tenant Radford,  "and  at  daybreak  were  at  the 
top  of  a  succession  of  ridges,  over  which  our 
road  led  The  geological  formation  here  is  re- 
markable, but  is  more  likely  to  delight  a  man  of 
science  than  a  soldier  on  the  march,  as  the  valleys 
run  lengthways  with  the  range  of  hills.  The  strata 
have  all  gone  mad,  and  are  standing  on  their  edges, 
the  softer  rock  between  them  having  been  washed 
out ;  the  result  is  a  .succession  of  precipitous 
ridges,  topped  by  a  natural  wall  of  rock^  A  mule 
battery,  however,  will  go  over  very  rough  country, 
and  the  mountain  guns  crossed  without  any 

In  Jummoo  and  the  valley  before  it,  the 
Jowakis  were  taken  completely  by  surprise,  and  fled 
to  the  mountains,  leaving  behind  them  a  great 
quantity  of  guns  and  swords,  abandoning  their 
dwellings  in  such  haste  that  the  troops  in  many 
instances  found  the  fires  alight,  and  bread  baking 
before  them.  The  British  casualties  were  reported 
at  only  nine  in  number,  and  those  of  the  Jowakis 
at  twenty-five. 

For  a  little  time  the  movements  of  General 
Keyes   were  somewhat    impeded    by    rains,   and 

January  saw  the  Jowakis  retiring  fast  to  the  most 
inaccessible  part  of  the  mountains. 

In  the  Valley  of  Jummoo  the  troops  stayed  a 
short  time  to  collect  the  cattle  and  bum  the 
scattered  villages.  The  Paiah  Valley  was  next 
entered ;  the  people  were  seen  flying  in  all  direc- 
tions, and  our  men  capturing  the  villages. 

"  We  are  now  waiting  for  the  head  men  to  come 
in  and  make  friends,"  says  the  writer  before 
quoted :  "  which  they  will  soon  do  now,  I  fancy, 
as  the  cold  weather  is  telling  on  them,  and  their 
cattle  are  dying  in  large  numbers  from  exposure. 
The  land,  too,  is  all  lying  idle  just  when  they 
ought  to  be  tilling  it  for  the  spring  crop  of  next 
year.  Altogether,  what  with  the  loss  of  men, 
cattle,  and  villages  destroyed,  &c.,  they  have  had 
a  wholesome  lesson.  We  have  nothing  but  our 
bedding  with  us,  and  each"  officer  has  half  a  mule 
for  his  traps.  Our  mess-house  is  made  of  tar- 
paulin, and  the  tables  out  of  some  doors.  Most 
of  our  fellows  sleep  in  the  mosque,  which  is  like  a 
cowshed  in  England;  but,  cleared  out,  is  now  a 
bedroom  with  nine  occupants.  The  weather  is 
now  nice  and  cool :  quite  frosty  in  the  morning. 
We  bathe,  fish,  and  play  polo ;  so  altogether  we 
might  have  worse  quarters." 

Towards  the  end  of  January,  1878,  fifty  head 
men  of  the  Jowaki  tribe  arrived  at  the  camp  of 
Generals  Keyes  and  Pollock  to  make  overtures  for 
peace,  and  withdrew  after  hearing  the  British 
conditions  and  agreeing  to  give  them  full  con- 
sideration. They  then  quitted  the  camp,  asserting 
that  the  terms  were  unacceptable. 

On  the  15th  of  February  hostilities  were  re- 
sumed, when  a  body  of  250  British  cavalry  attacked 
and  completely  defeated  the  Jowakis,  who  fled, 
leaving  their  slain  behind  them.  We  had  six 
wounded,  and  captured  six  prisoners,  three  of 
whom  were  leaders  of  influence ;  and  soon  after 
the  petty  strife  came  to  an  end.  "Humanity 
apart,"  it  has  been  aptly  said,"  these  little  wars  are 
much  to  be  deprecated  in  these  inflammable  times. 
Our  position  in  India  is  not  altogether  unlike  that 
of  the  Turks  in  Europe— we  are  not  a  nation  there, 
but  an  encampment" 

Digitized  by 







Kaffraria,  or  Kaffirland,  is  that  district  of  Africa 
which  lies  westward  of  oxir  Cape  Colony.  It  has 
an  area  of  10,000  square  miles,  and  has  a  Kaffir 
population  estimated  at  450,000  by  General  Sir 
Arthur  Cunynghame,  Lieutenant-Governor  and 
Commander  of  the  Forces  there  between  1874  and 

The  Fingoes  and  Gaikas  occupy  that  portion 
which  is  named  British  Kaffraria,  and  is  occasionally 
called  the  Ciskei;  while  the  Galekas,  Pondos, 
Pondomise,  Tambookies,  and  Griquas  occupy  the 
Transkei,  or  Kaffraria  proper.  "The  Portuguese 
navigators,"  says  Malte-Brun,  "after  doubling  the 
Cape  of  Good  Hope,  found  the  inhabitants  of  the 
eastern  coast  of  Africa  more  advanced  in  civi- 
lisation in  proportion  as  they  approached  the  north, 
where  the  Arabs  had  introduced  their  own  manners 
and  religious  belief.  These  Mahommedans,  de- 
signated under  the  vague  name  of  Kaffirs^  />., 
•heretics,'  all  the  natives  of  those  countries  into 
which  the  Mohammedan  religion  had  not  been 
introduced ;  and  under  the  name  of  Kafarahy  or 
Kaffraria,  the  Arabian  geographers  comprehended 
the  whole  interior  of  Africa.  Kaffraria  might  thus 
reach  to  Nigritia,  line  the  Indian  Ocean  from  Zeila, 
as  far  as  Brava,  and  again  extend  to  the  borders  of 
the  sea  to  the  south  of  Sofala." 

Their  language  is  soft  and  harmonious ;  but  "  I 
never  could  perceive,"  says  Dr.  Vanderkemp,  "that 
they  have  any  religion,  or  any  idea  of  the  existence 
of  a  God  ....  A  decisive  proof  of  what  I  here 
say  with  respect  to  the  national  atheism  of  the 
Kaffirs  is,  that  they  have  no  word  in  their  language 
to  express  the  Deity." 

The  various  tribes  have  the  same  language,  and 
evidently  are  all  descended  from  one  common 
stock.  Among  them,  the  Fingoes,  whose  name 
signifies  "dogs,"  and  who  have  been  persecuted 
almost  to  extinction  by  the  rest,  are  our  only  firm 
allies.  Though  somewhat  cowardly  at  first,  under  our 
rule  they  have  developed  fighting  capabilities,  and 
have  always  joined  our  side.  They  live  peacefully 
in  their  kraals^  or  villages,  and  are  generally  wealthy 
in  cattle.  The  whole  of  the  Transkei  is  now  under 
British  rule,  and  we  may  hope  thus  that  the  many 
barbarous  customs  which  have  prevailed  there  for 
unknown  ages  will  gradually  pass  away.  "  No  one 
will,  I  presume,"  says  General  Cunynghame,  "object 
to  depriving  the  Kaffir  of  his  gun  on  the  pseudo- 

philanthropic  principle  that  it  is  like  depriving  a 
child  of  his  toy." 

The  warfare  we  are  now  about  to  relate  was  that 
waged  against  us  by  the  Gaika  chief  Sandilli,  Kreli 
the  chief  of  the  Galekas,  and  others,  who  began  it 
by  attacking  our  allies  the  Fingoes. 

Till  about  the  middle  of  July,  1877,  the  only 
Colonial  force — after  the  most  unwise  disbandment 
of  the  old  Cape  Mounted  Rifles — was  a  corps, 
nominally  a  thousand  strong,  called  the  Frontier 
Armed  Mounted  Police,  clad  in  a  costume  scarcely 
equal  to  that  of  a  railway  porter.  It  was  a  dress  of 
corduroy,  dipped  in  logwood  dye  till  it  became 
unbearably  stiff.  With  this  was  a  cap  having  a 
small  peak,  and  leggings  to  go  over  the  trousers. 
When  dry,  this  clothing  was  so  hot  that  the  men 
longed  to  throw  it  off;  and  when  wet,  became  so 
heavy  that  the  weight  could  scarcely  be  borne.  Yet 
thus  clad  they  were  expected  to  encounter  supple, 
active,  and  powerful  savages,  almost  in  a  state  of 
nudity,  free  and  unencumbered  by  anything.  Each 
man  had  a  red  blanket,  and  their  firearms  were  a 
carbine  and  revolver. 

Son»e  of  the  officers  had  been  in  the  royal  ser- 
vice, and  one  troop  was  artillery  and  trained  to 
handle  a  Woolwich  9-pounder,  and  three  7-pounders 
on  mountain  carriages. 

There  was  no  provision  for  the  sick,  or  for  the 
transport  of  food  or  ammunition — no  commissariat 
beyond  each  trooper's  saddle-bag — and  thus,  when 
the  war  broke  out,  the  sick  and  wretched  troopers 
for  days  were  literally  starved.  ("  With  the  Cape 
Mounted  Rifles.") 

Our  Kaffir  enemies  being  furnished  with  muskets, 
and  even  with  rifles,  in  addition  to  their  knives 
and  assegais,  were  much  ,more  formidable  enemies 
than  in  earlier  Cape  wars. 

As  regards  the  causes  of  the  strife  which  began 
in  1877,  Sir  Bartle  Frere,  Governor  of  the  Cape 
Colony,  in  a  despatch  to  the  Earl  of  Carnarvon, 
from  King  William's  To^n,  indicated  them  in 
reply  to  a  memorial  from  the  Aborigines  Protec- 
tion Society  which  had  been  placed  before  him. 

Sir  Bartle  had  been  long  in  the  Indian  Civil  Ser- 
vice, and  was  afterwards  our  Special  Commissioner 
with  reference  to  the  slave  trade  in  East  Africa. 
He  stated  that  he  was  at  one  time  inclined  to 
think  that  the  Galekas  in  attacking  the  Fingoes  had 
no  idea,  at  first,  of  fighting  either  with  the  colonists 

Digitized  by 


la  BRITISH   BA'nLlS  ON  LAND  AND  S£A.  tKaOrUiwi 





Digitized  by 





or  Her  Majesty's  forces ;  but  he  r^etted  to  add 
that  the  balance  of  evidence  had  been  accumulat- 
ing on  the  other  side,  and  there  was  every  reason 
to  believe  that  those  leaders  whom  the  Galeka 
tribes  were  blindly  following,  were  acting  as 
members  of  a  general  combination  against  the 
white  man,  his  ways,  and  all  that  belonged  to 
him.  He  saw  no  reason  to  doubt  that  the 
instructions  given  to  the  Galeka  columns  in- 
cluded more    than    the    mere    attack    upon  the 

one  black  and  the  other  white ;  as  the  latter  lived  the 
longer,  they  were  filled  with  doubts,  ana  believed 
that  there  would  be  no  war.  But,  nevertheless, 
the  natives  continued  to  buy  and  dry  oxtails,  to  be 
worn  round  the  legs  and  arms  in  battle,  and  to  sell 
their  cattle  to  purchase  weapons;  and  colonists 
know  that  when  the  KafHrs  do  this,  mischief  is 
The  entire  available  force  of  the  Mounted  Police, 
of  13  officers  and  295  sabres^  with  3 

Ty^klchiHg  Co.  d</.  €t  $i. 


Fingoes.  They  were,  he  added,  naturally  a  fine- 
spirited  and  intelligent  people;  moreover,  the 
Gaikas  were  once  as  turbulent  as  the  Galekas; 
but  now,  "some  of  the  Gaikas,  trained  as  school- 
teachers, might  be  listened  to  with  pleasure  and 
profit  by  a  London  congregation  or  audience." 

On  the  24th  of  September,  1877,  Kreli  sent  his 
sons  to  escort,  or  expel,  all  Europeans  out  of  the 
Galeka  country.  Prior  to  this  the  Kaffirs  had  been 
going  through  many  strange  rites  and  superstitious 
performances  with  the  witch-doctors.  In  one  in- 
stance two  of  the  chiefs  consulted  ¥nth  them  as  to 
the  future  and  the  fortune  of  the  coming  war,  and 
they  actually  barbarously  skinned  two  oxen  alive, 

field-pieces,  was  assembled  at  a  place  called  Ibeka, 
under  Commandant  Charles  Griffiths,  an  old  and 
experienced  officer,  who  had  been  many  years 
British  Resident  in  Basutoland. 

As  the  Galekas  could  not  bear  to  see  those  who 
had  been  so  long  their  serfs,  free,  independent,  and 
becoming  rich  and  prosperous  by  their  own  pro- 
vidence under  British  rule,  a  column  of  them, 
fully  5,000  strong,  crossed  the  border  and  fiercely 
attacked  the  Fingoes  and  a  small  body  of  Police, 
on  the  25th  of  September,  at  a  hill  called  by  the 
natives  Guadana,  and  by  the  British  Mount 

After  severe  fighting  the  Fingoes  fell  back,  but 

Digitized  by 





the  Police  held  their  ground  against  the  mighty 
odds  that  surged  around  them,  whooping  and 
yelling  for  their  blood — and  held  it,  too,  with  stem, 
determined  valour. 

Our  force  here  consisted  of  only  80  Police,  with 
1,500  Fingoes — the  whole  under  Inspector  G.  B. 
Chalmers,  of  No.  3  Troop,  whose  official  report  to 
Commandant  Griffiths,  dated  Lusisi  Camp,  28th 
October,  is  as  follows  : — 

"  In  accordance  with  your  instructions  I  have 
the  honour  to  report,  that  on  the  26th  ult,  while 
returning  to  Idutywa  reserve,  from  the  Ibeka 
Camp,  I  was  apprised  of  the  fact  that  the  Galekas 
had  attacked  the  Fingoes  on  the  Government 
reserve,  near  the  Guadana.  I  continued  my 
march  along  the  main  road,  and  when  about  two 
miles  from  the  Impulse^  opposite  Guadana,  I  ob- 
served the  Galekas  had  crossed  in  numbers  and 
attacked  the  Fingoes,  and  that  an  engagement  was 
taking  place  between  the  two  tribes. 

"  In  obedience  to  orders  received — in  the  event 
of  a  battle — I  proceeded  to  the  scene  of  action  in 
support  of  the  Fingoes.  Before  taking  any  pro- 
minent part,  I  sent  back  to  the  Impulse  to  acquaint 
Mr.  AyHfT,  who  was  there  in  command  of  a  large 
Fingo  contingent,  that  the  Galeka  army  had  crossed 
into  British  territory.  On  the  arrival  of  this  gentle- 
man with  about  1,000  Fingoes,  I  halted  the  gun 
and  the  men  under  my  command,  Mr.  Ayliff  with 
his  Fingoes  marching  to  the  top  of  the  hilL  To 
avoid  surprise,  I  sent  Sub-Inspector  Hamilton  to 
Mr.  Ayliff  to  receive  a  report  as  to  the  position  of 
the  Galeka  army. 

"  This  officer  returned  with  a  request  from  Mr. 
Ayliff  that  I  should  march  on  with  the  gun  and 
men,  which  I  did.  On  arrival  I  found  the  Galeka 
army  in  three  divisions  at  the  foot  of  the  hilL  On 
our  appearance  the  enemy  made  a  move  towards 
us,  and  I  immediately  gave  the  order  to  the  officer 
in  command  of  the  artillery  —  Sub-Inspector 
Cochrane — to  open  fire  with  the  7-pounder.  After 
the  tenth  round  the  gun  became  disabled,  and  I 
gave  the  order:  *The  gun  will  retire,  under  Mr. 
Cochrane  and  the  escort'  .... 

"Before  entering  into  action  my  men  were  ex- 
tended in  skirmishing  order  on  the  brow  of  the 
hill,  the  horses  having  been  left  out  of  sight,  in 
hand,  and  in  charge  of  the  usual  number  of  men. 
The  Fingoes  under  Mr.  Ayliff  were  placed  on  the 
left  flank,  between  the  gun  and  the  Guadana  forest, 
so  as  to  command  the  bush ;  my  men  were  placed 
on  the  right  of  the  gua 

"  When  the  Galekas  came  within  rifle  range,  I 
ordered  the  Police  to  commence  firing,  and  con- 
tinuous independent  firing  was  kept  up  for  nearly 

two  hours,  which  checked  the  enemy  until  the  gun 
retired.  When  the  Fingoes  saw  this  they  made  a 
general  retreat,  running  among  our  horses  and 
causing  great  confusion. 

"Finding  that  we  were  deserted,  and  that  by 
remaining  on  the  ground  any  longer  the  whole 
European  Police  would  be  sacrificed,  I  ordered 
the  men  to  retire.  The  confusion  by  the  Fingoes 
rushing  about  in  all  directions  caused  several  of 
our  horses  to  break  loose,  and  through  this  unfor- 
tunate circumstance  one  officer  and  six  men  fell 
victims  to  the  emeny.  The  remainder  retired  in 
order,  and  the  gun  was  taken  safely  to  Idutywa. 
The  firing  from  the  7-pounder  was  most  effective, 
and  so  was  that  of  the  Sniders.  The  estimated 
loss  on  the  Galeka  side  was  at  least  200,  besides 

"  I  may  say  that  the  Fingoes,  when  asked  why 
they  retreated  so  soon,  replied  that  they  had  been 
watching  the  gun,  and  when  they  saw  it  move  they 
thought  it  was  time  to  leave  the  battle-field  I 
cannot  attach  any  blame  to  our  men  in  the  engage- 
ment ;  they  stood  their  ground  until  the  very  last, 
fired  steadily,  and  were  it  not  for  the  gun  breaking 
down  I  have  no  hesitation  in  asserting  that  the 
result  would  have  been  different" 

The  trail  of  this  unlucky  gun  was  of  colonial 
make,  and  faulty ;  the  proper  carriage  having  been 
lost  in  the  Windsor  Castle. 

The  whole  force  in  the  camp  at  Ibeka  had  been 
reduced  to  43  men,  with  two  field-pieces  ;  thus, 
had  the  Galekas  advanced  in  force,  as  they  did  six 
days  subsequently,  they  must  have  captured  these 
guns,  all  the  ammunition,  and  everything  else,  in- 
cluding the  "slaughter  cattle,"  as  those  animals 
intended  for  the  butcher  are  called  in  the  Cape 

Thus  was  the  war  in  Kaffraria  inaugurated 

General  Cunynghame  reported,  that  "nothing 
could  exceed  the  bravery  of  Inspector  Van  Ho- 
henan,  who  lost  his  own  life  in  his  endeavour  to 
carry  off  the  field  one  of  the  men  (Private  Evans) 
who  had  been  wounded,  and,  while  he  was  en- 
deavouring to  place  this  man  on  his  own  horse,  he 
was  shot  through  the  body,  and  died  like  a  Britisli 
soldier.  I  had  the  honour  in  assisting  to  raise  a 
cairn  to  hb  memory.  Its  position  commands 

An  eye-witness  says,  "Some  days  after,  when 
with  a  strong  party  we  went  out  to  recover  the 
bodies,  we  found  all  oxu*  poor  comrades  in  a  dread- 
ful state," 

Evans  had  seventeen  assegai  wounds  in  him; 
one  man  was  scalped  Van  Hohenan  had  his  feet 
cut  off,  for  the  sake  of  his  long  boots ;  all  were 

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stripped  of  their  clothes,  and  had  their  stomachs 
ripped  open.  "  Not  one  of  the  party  that  saw  this 
icarfiil  sight,"  he  adds,  "  but  swore  a  fearful  ven- 
geance if  ever  they  got  hold  of  any  of  the  niggers.*' 

Perhaps  the  most  revolting  sight  was  a  dog  lying 
gorged  by  the  side  of  his  dead  master,  on  whose 
body  it  had  been  feeding  for  days.  Galeka  dogs 
were  frequently  seen  eating  dead  Galekas. 

It  was  asserted  that  whenever  the  latter  took  the 
field,  a  hare  was  invariably  seen  leading  them,  and 
hence  the  disasters  that  befell  them.  A  witch 
doctor  was  consulted,  and  he  accused  Lindixowna 
— Kreli's  second  son— of  being  a  wizard,  and 
sending  the  hare  to  produce  misfortunes ;  and  for 
this  Lindixowna  was  barbarously  put  to  death. 

"  The  war  was  generally  known  among  the  natives 
as  *  the  women's  war/  "  says  General  Cunynghame, 
"  from  the  fact  that  it  was  mainly  owing  to  the  sex 
that  the  flagging  interest  among  the  men  was  main- 
tained. As  if  by  preconcerted  action,  the  women 
taunted  the  young  men  with  having  become  the 
white  man's  slaves,  instead  of  warriors  like  their 

But  the  strife  was  soon  to  assume  great  propor- 

The  appearance  of  a  Kaffir  warrior  when  pre- 
pared for  battle  is  wild  and  singular.  His  caross, 
or  mantle,  is  cast  aside ;  his  defensive  covering  is 
an  oval  shield  of  hardened  hide,  which  hangs  on 
the  left  arm,  while  a  bundle  of  assegais  is  grasped 
in  the  right  hand,  and  two  lofty  plumes  of  the 
feathers  of  the  grey  crane  are  fastened  to  his  head 
by  a  leathern  fillet,  and,  by  their  horn-like  aspect 
impart  something  fiendish  to  his  appearance.  "  I 
was  much  struck,"  says  Rose,  "with  the  strong 
resemblance  that  a  group  of  Kaffirs  bears  to  the 
Greek  and  Etruscan  antique  remains,  except  that 
the  savage  drapery  is  more  scanty,  and  falls  in 
simpler  folds." 

The  deadly  assegai  of  the  Kaffir  is  now,  un- 
fortunately, too  well  known  to  us ;  but  it  is  curious 
to  find  a  weapon  of  a  name  nearly  similar  was  used 
by  the  Moors,  as  recorded  in  the  "  Dictionnaire 
Militairc"  for  1 758,  thus :  ^^Zagaie — a  weapon  made 
in  the  form  of  a  long  dart,  which  the  Moors  use  in 
batde,  and  which  they  cast  with  extreme  dexterity." 

An  attack  on  the  station  at  Ibeka,  in  Fingoland 
—distant  seven  miles  from  Butterworth  and  fourteen 
from  the  hill  and  wood  of  Guadana — being  now 
expected,  it  was  fortified  with  all  haste.  The  only 
building  there  was  a  dwelling-house,  with  some 
stables  and  other  offices,  surrounded  by  an  earthen 
rampart  and  a  ditch,  and  shaded  by  some  beautiful 
blue  gum  trees,  which  were  visible  for  miles  around 
it    The  whole  place  was  about  250  yards  square. 

It  was  appropriated  as  quarters,  with  a  store  and 
magazine,  by  the  Armed  Police,  who  now  worked 
hourly,  digging  rifle-pits  and  making  sand-bag  bas- 
tions for  their  three  pieces  of  cannon,  while  out- 
lying and  inlying  pickets  were  posted  nightly  to 
preclude  a  surprise.  The  men  slept  in  their 
clothes,  fully  accoutred,  till  they  grew  weary 
and  longed  for  a  conflict;  and  in  a  few  days  it 
seemed  as  if  this  longing  would  be  gratified,  when 
500  mounted  Galekas  suddenly  came  galloping  up 
within  a  few  hundred  yards  of  the  works,  with  a 
white  flag  of  truce  displayed,  and  accompanied  by 
an  interpreter. 

They  were  commanded  by  Sidgow,  a  son  of 
Kreli,  who  said  he  wished  to  see  the  chief  of  the 
white  men,  and  came  resolutely  forward  in  front 
of  his  party,  accompanied  by  a  few  dingy  warriors, 
while,  followed  by  two  troopers,  Captain  Robinson 
rode  out  to  meet  him.  He  came  to  express  his 
father's  regret  for  the  slaughter  of  the  Police  at 
Guadana,  saying  they  wished  to  flght  the  Fingoes 
alone ;  and  would  the  white  chief  permit  them  to 
be  attacked  ? 

In  the  meantime  the  three  pieces  of  cannon  had 
been  loaded  with  case-shot  and  run  through  the 

"  Do  you  see  those  guns  ?"  said  Captain  Robin- 
son, addressing  Sidgow.  "There  are  sixty-three 
bullets  in  eaoh.  Go  home  like  a  good  boy,"  he 
added,  banteringly  but  flrmly,  "  and  tell  your  papa 
Kreli  that  if  you,  or  any  of  you,  attempt  to  cross 
the  border,  we  shall  fire  on  you,  and  the  blood 
must  be  on  your  own  heads  !" 

On  this  Sidgow  and  his  party  rode  slowly  away. 
The  Cape  Government  was  now  becoming  alarmed, 
and  as  the  only  regular  troops  on  the  frontier  con- 
sisted of  a  portion  of  the  ist  battalion  of  the  24th 
Regiment,  without  cavalry  or  artillery,  volunteers 
were  called  out,  and  preparations  made,  but  on  a 
meagre  scale,  to  defend  the  border  towns;  and 
severe  fighting  ensued  on  the  28th  of  September. 

On  the  morning  of  the  previous  day  large  bodies 
of  Kaffirs  were  observed  to  be  constantly  on  the 
march  towards  Kreli's  kraal,  which  was  seven  miles 
distant  from  the  isolated  and  advanced  post  at 
Ibeka ;  but  save  the  exchange  of  a  few  stray  shots 
with  our  vedettes,  little  of  importance  transpired, 
though  the  holders  of  Ibeka  were  on  the  eve  of  a 
desperate  conflict  with  many  thousands  of  wily 
savages,  thirsting  for  blood  and  plunder. 

"  I  have  already  mentioned  the  house  and  the 
sod  wall  surrounding  the  buildings  at  Ibeka,"  wrote 
a  trooper  who  was  present  "To  the  east  the 
ground  gradually  ascends,  forming  at  the  top  a 
stony  and  elongated    ridge,   which  slopes  down 

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towards  the  river  Xaxa  on  the  south.  Towards 
Butterworth,  which  lies  to  the  north-west,  the 
ground  is  flat,  with  occasional  boulders  of  various 
kinds.  Towards  the  north  the  ground  is  also  flat 
for  about  the  distance  of  a  mile.  It  then  slopes 
gradually  down  to  the  Butterworth  River.  In  front 
of  the  house,  and  facing  the  south,  the  ground  falls 
directly  by  a  gentle  slope  for  at  least  a  mile  and  a 
half  This  declivity  is  intersected  by  a  small 
stream,  which  separates  it  from  the  stony  hill  I 
have  already  mentioned.  ....  Immediately  in 
front  of  the  house  is  the  boundary  between 
Fingoland  '  and  Galekaland.  This  boundary  is 
denoted  by  a  small  footpath,  with  an  occasional 
cairn  of  stones." 

The  nature  of  the  ground  around  this  fort,  which 
Commandant  Griflliths  still  held  with  his  three 
7-pounders  and  a  handful  of  men,  was  more  favour- 
able for  its  assailants  than  its  defenders  ;  for,  even 
at  a  long  distance,  the  cannon  were  only  available 
on  the  south  side,  as  the  low  ground  intervening 
afforded  excellent  shelter  to  an  approaching  force. 

On  the  day  of  the  conflict  so  many  Police  had 
been  despatched  to  hold  other  points,  that  only 
120  sabres  remained  at  Ibeka,  with  2,000  unre- 
liable Fingoes  under  Sub-Inspector  Allan  Maclean 
and  Veldtman ;  these  with  six  European  Volun- 
teers from  the  neighbouring  trading  station,  con- 
stituted the  entire  force  to  oppose  the  army  of 
Kreli,  now  8,000  strong,  and  led,  less  by  Sidgow 
than  by  the  ferocious  witch  doctor,  'Nita,  a  womaa 

Tidings  soon  came  that  the  latter  were  forming 
in  columns  of  squares,  their  favourite  mode  of 
advance,  and  by  eight  in  the  morning  their  masses 
were  seen  hovering  darkly  on  a  hill,  where  they 
halted,  about  a  mile  and  a  half  distant  from  Ibeka. 
The  horses,  which  till  now  had  been  grazing  close 
by  the  improvised  fort,  were  at  once  brought  in, 
saddled,  bridled,  and  tied  to  a  picket-rope.  Shell 
and  case-shot  were  piled  up  beside  the  guns, 
ammunition  boxes  placed  all  round  the  walls,  and 
the  men  told  off"  to  their  posts,  while  barrels  of 
water  for  the  thirsty  or  the  wounded  were  set  at 
distances  within  the  enclosure. 

Kreli  was  present,  but  his  son  Sidgow  com- 
manded, and  received  his  final  orders,  which  were, 
to  destroy  all  the  Fingoes  and  drive  away  the 
Police,  adding,  "  You  can  breakfast  at  Ibeka,  have 
dinner  at  Butterworth,  and  then  be  on  your  way 
for  the  Komgha  and  the  colony,  where  you  will  be 
joined  by  your  friends  j"  by  whom  he  meant  the 

A  little  after  nine  o'clock  the  enemy  were  re- 
inforced by  2,000  mounted  warriors,  who,  after  a 
short  halt  advanced  upward  to  the  stony  ridge  on 

the  left  of  Ibeka,  in  front  of  which  was  the  sloping 
ground.  The  whole  force  of  Kreli  now  came  on, 
the  columns  being  lost  sight  of  from  time  to  time 
in  the  hollows  that  intervened,  while  the  mounted 
men  stole  swiftly  up  under  cover  of  the  ridge. 

When  within  1,200  yards*  range  the  Galekas 
threw  forward  skirmishers,  who  crept  upward, 
firing — a  movement  opposed  by  500  Fingoes  under 
Veldtmaa  On  the  extreme  left  the  remainder  of 
the  Fingoes,  under  Allan  Maclean,  a  resolute 
Scottish  officer,  supported  them,  the  Police  being 
thrown  out  in  skirmishing  order  to  the  left  and 

AVhen  the  mounted  men  crowned  the  ridge  they 
were  shelled,  and  two  rocket-tubes,  which  now 
opened  on  them,  did  terrible  executioa  Fire  was 
then  opened  with  the  7-pounders,  and  the  action 
became  general  along  the  whole  line.  Into  the  very 
heart  of  the  squares  the  shells  went  plumping  and 
exploding,  causing  great  slaughter,  till  the  columns 
were  completely  broken,  and  the  enemy,  extending 
themselves  in  loose  skirmishing  order,  rushed  for- 
ward again  and  again,  till  within  fifty  yards  of  the 
muzzles  of  the  guns. 

The  case-shot  proved  too  much  for  them ;  fre- 
quently they  fell  back  to  take  rest ;  and  at  intervals 
came  surging  forward  again  in  the  smoke,  over 
their  dead  and  dying,  with  no  better  success.  By 
this  time  the  shell  and  rockets  had  completely  dis- 
persed their  mounted  mea 

About  five  in  the  evening  they  gathered  together 
in  all  their  fury  for  a  final  effort  On  they  came, 
whooping  and  yelling,  in  one  mighty  scrambling 
mass — their  crane  plumes  imparting  a  devilish 
aspect  to  their  heads,  their  leathern  shields  upheld, 
rifles  and  assegais  brandished,  their  white  teeth 
glistening,  their  eyes  gleaming  with  the  lust  of 
blood  and  slaughter — but  only  to  be  mowed  down 
by  shells  and  rockets.  Right  up  to  the  muzzles  of 
the  cannon  they  came ;  but  shell,  case,  rockets,  and 
Snider  bullets  proved  too  much  for  them  again,  and 
they  began  to  waver. 

Then  down  on  their  flank  swept  the  Fingoes, 
inspired  by  hatred,  rage,  and  revenge,  led  by  Allan 
Maclean,  sword  in  hand,  accompanied  by  only 
fifty  of  the  Cape  Police,  led  by  his  brother  John 
Maclean,  cheering  as  they  poured  in  a  heavy  fire, 
and  then  charged  with  fixed  bayonets. 

On  this  the  Galekas  wheeled  about  and  fled, 
abandoning  muskets,  assegais,  blankets,  and  ever}^- 
thing  that  might  impede  their  flight  fi-om  those 
whom  they  had  hoped  to  beat  so  easily.  As  long 
as  they  were  within  range  the  plunging  fire  of 
the  7-pounders  followed  them. 

From  ten  in  the  morning  till  five  in  the  after- 

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noon  the  flight  had  lasted,  and  darkness  was 
coming  on  when  it  was  over,  and  the  brave  few  in 
Ibeka  had  time  to  look  about  them.  More  than 
a  thousand  were  the  casualties  of  the  Galekas, 
while,  "wonderful  to  relate,"  says  the  author  of 
the  "Cape  Mounted  Rifles,"  "we  had  not  one 
man  killed,  and  only  four  or  five  wounded.  The 
Fingoes  lost  about  forty  men,  and  eleven  wounded." 

In  their  flurry  and  haste  the  Kaffirs  had  fired 
too  high,  yet  the  house  was  peppered  with  bullets, 
and  several  horses  were  hit  in  the  gardea  The 
wounded  Galekas  were  all  carried  off"  by  their 
people  in  the  night,  so  their  number  could  never 
be  exactly  knowa 

The  night  that  followed  was  a  miserable  one  to 
the  toil-worn  holders  of  Ibeka.  The  cold  was 
intense,  and  the  rain  fell  heavily ;  no  fires  could  be 
lighted  or  food  cooked;  and  all  night  they  re- 
mained under  arms,  with  their  loaded  cannon 
pointing  through  the  sod  wall 

When  day  broke,  and  the  night  and  the  rain  had 
passed  away  together,  it  was  seen  that  the  Galekas 
had  returned  to  nearly  the  same  ground  they  had 
occupied  on  the  preceding  day.  Unrested  and 
unslept,  the  heroic  little  garrison  stood  to  arms. 
Intent  on  a  dreadful  reprisal  for  the  past  slaughter, 
the  Galekas  came  stealthily  up  the  stony  ridge  again, 
to  turn  the  flank;  but  Maclean  and  his  Fingoes 
rushed  to  the  crest  of  the  ridge,  and  opened  fire, 
on  which  the  foe  fell  back.  Again  the  7-pounders 
played  on  them  at  2,400  yards'  range,  spreading 
such  terror  and  astonishment  into  the  sable  masses 
that  they  never  got  very  close  to  Ibeka,  on  which 
this  was  their  last  attack,  as  they  had  never  seen 
cannon  before,  and  were  petrified  with  fear  at  the 
eflect  of  shell — a  missile  they  utterly  failed  to  com- 
prehend— bursting  with  such  deadly  effect  among 
them  at  1,000  yards'  range,  disembowelling  men 

and  tearing  them  to  pieces.  "They  fought  well 
and  pluckily,"  says  the  author  before  quoted ;  "  the 
way  they  repeatedly  charged,  I  shall  never  forget 
They  came  on  with  a  determined  rush;  and  if 
numbers  only  could  have  availed,  they  would  have 
proved  irresistible." 

At  ten  o'clock  on  the  morning  of  the  second  day 
a  heavy  fog  came  on,  and  continued  till  noon, 
when  it  cleared  off*,  and  left  a  bright  and  sunny 
day.  When  it  rose  skyward  like  a  curtam,  to  the 
astonishment  of  those  in  Ibeka,  not  a  Galeka  was 
seen  near  it 

By  the  lights  of  their  camp-fires  it  was  found 
that  they  had  retreated  to  a  distance  of  ten  miles, 
and  ere  long  were  supposed  to  be  concentrating 
their  strength  at  Kreli's  kraal  for  defensive  pur- 

Two  days  afterwards  some  Fingoes  brought  into 
Ibeka  the  body  of  'Nita,  the  witch  doctor,  who  had 
been  slaia  She  had  distributed  amulets  to  the 
entire  army  as  charms  against  the  white  men's 
bullets.  She  was  tattooed  all  over,  and  her  face 
displayed  intense  energy  of  character.  She  it  was 
who  procured  the  death  of  Lindixowna,  who  was 
starved  for  several  days,  half  beaten  to  death,  and 
then  buried  alive. 

"  It  is  said,"  writes  General  Cunynghame,  "  this 
prophetess,  or  sorceress,  had  told  the  Galekas  that 
one  of  the  messages  from  the  spirits  of  their 
ancestors  was  a  mandate  to  give  up  their  old  tactics 
of  loose  skirmbhing,  and  to  attack  in  heavy  close 
columns,  after  the  manner  of  the  British  soldiers ; 
and  this  was  the  cause  of  the  departure  of  the 
Galekas  from  their  usual  system  of  fighting,  and  of 
their  attacking  our  posts  at  Ibeka  and  elsewhere  in 

Her  head  was  packed  in  a  rocket  box,  and  sent 
as  a  curiosity  down  to  King  William's  Town, 


THE  WAR  IN   YiXTTVLKRlK  {continued)  : — THE  COMBATS  OF  LUSISI — UMZINTZANI   (1877). 

These  affairs  on  the  frontier  with  the  Galekas,  and 
the  fact  that  the  Gaikas,  a  great  sept,  were  ruled 
by  Sandilli,  a  drunken  and  dissolute  old  man,  at 
length  fully  alarmed  the  Cape  Government 

General  Sir  Arthur  Cunynghame,  Lieutenant- 
Governor  and  Commander-in-Chief  of  the  forces  in 
South  Africa,  now  assumed  the  chief  command. 
He  was  a  distinguished  officer,  who  had  served  as 
aide-de-camp  to   Lord  Saltoun  during  the  latter 

part  of  the  war  in  China,  and  was  present  at  the 
storming  of  Chin-Kiangfoo  and  Nankin.  He  was 
also  a  veteran  of  the  Crimea,  where  he  had  served 
fi-om  the  battle  of  the  AUna  till  the  fall  of 

Detachments  of  her  Majesty's  24th  Regiment 
were  sent  to  Komgha,  PuUen's  Farm,  and  Impetu. 
Large  numbers  of  Volunteers  and  some  mounted 
Burghers    were    despatched    to    Ibeka — all    well 

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equipped  and  well  horsed,  but  totally  without  dis- 
cipline, as  they  could  go  home  when  they  pleased. 
H.M.S.  Active  J  a  steam  corvette,  left  Cape  Town 
with  200  of  the  88th  Regiment  for  the  front,  under 
Major  Edward  Hopton,  who  had  been  severely 
wounded  at  the  storming  of  the  Redan.  Meetings 
were  called  in  all  the  principal  towns,  where 
volunteers  flocked    to  enrol    for  active    service. 

the  general  commanding,  in  order  that  they  might 
become  well  acquainted  with  the  country,  in  case — 
as  seemed  by  no  means  improbable — ^the  services 
of  her  Majesty's  regular  troops  would  eventually 
be  necessary  in  the  land  of  the  Galekas. 

Having  a  dread  that  excesses  might  result  from 
armed  men  being  without  perfect  discipline,  in 
consequence  of  the  cruelties  outrages,  and  mutila- 


The  East  London  Volunteers,  by  occupying  several 
police  stations,  released  the  troopers  for  service  in 
the  field;  300  burgesses  were  enrolled  for  the 
defence  of  King  William's  Town. 

Commandant  Griffiths  now  received  orders  to 
enter  and  sweep  the  country  of  Kreli  and  his  men. 
Under  his  orders  were  all  the  troops  that  could  be 
mustered  in  this  emergency.  These  consisted  of 
3,000  Europeans,  including  the  Frontier  Armed 
Police,  and  5,000  Fingoes  officered  by  white  men, 
without  whose  leadership  it  was  impossible  to  rely 
upon  them ;  and  in  the  country  this  force  was  to 
penetrate,  the  armed  men  were  estimated  to  amount 
to  between  18,000  and  20,000  in  number. 

Staff  officers  were  attached  to  Griffiths*  force  by 

tions  of  the  Kaffirs,  Sir  Arthur  Cunynghame  issued 
the  following  General  Order  : — 

"  His  Excellency  the  General  Commanding  the 
Forces  is  anxious  to  impress  upon  the  troops 
generally,  that  in  all  cases  where  the  ability  of  so 
doing  exists,  prisoners  of  war  should  be  made, 
rather  than  that  the  enemy  should,  even  in  battle, 
be  put  to  death  without  necessity. 

"  W.  Bellairs,  Colonel, 

"  Deputy-Adjutant-GeneraL** 

Owing  to  red-tapeism,  want  of  sufficient  ammu- 
nition and  other  supplies,  several  days  were 
unfortunately  wasted  at  Ibeka,  and  meanwhile  the 
Galekas  were  strengthening  themselves  in  every 

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way,  but  chiefly  by  reinforcements  from  several 
tribes  that  were  as  yet  supposed  to  be  at  peace 
with  the  Cape  colonists,  especially  the  Gaikas  and 
Bomvanas.  "  In  feet,  any  Kaffir  who  wanted  to 
have  a  fight  joined  the  Galekas,  who  asked  no 
questions.  The  enemy  were  daily  augmenting 
dieir  forces  at  Kreli's  'great  place*  (hk  kraal), and 
at  kngth  about  fifty  of  our  Volunteers,  who  were 
out  on  a  foraging  expedition  some  few  miles  from 
Ibeka,  had  a  brush  with  the  enemy.  Two  of  our 
number  were  severely  wounded,  but  their  comrades 
managed  to  bring  them  in." 

Two  days  after,  the  Galekas  ventured  to  come 
within  sight  of  our  sentries,  and  to  dance,  yell,  and 
fire  off  their  muskets  as  a  challenge  for  us  to  attack 
them.  At  last  the  commandant  resolved  to  make 
an  assault  upon  the  great  kraal^  as  his  forces  were 
becoming  discontented  at  being  detained  in  camp 
doing  nothing.  At  daybreak  one  morning  two- 
thirds  of  the  troops  at  Ibeka  were  ordered  to  march, 
with  two  days'  rations  in  their  haversacks,  and  with 
two  pieces  of  cannon. 

A  march  of  some  miles  by  a  rough  road  brought 
the  forces  to  the  foot  of  a  very  steep  hill,  up  which 
they  had  to  toil,  and  take  the  various  positions 
assigned  them.  The  Artillery  and  a  troop  of 
Volunteers  were  to  hold  the  summit ;  the  remainder 
of  the  latter  were  posted  on  the  extreme  right  of  the 
guns,  and  a  mile  on  their  left  was  a  body  of  the 
Armed  Police ;  while  No.  3  troop,  mustering  only 
eighty  sabres,  formed  the  reserve ;  but  the  whole 
were  to  advance  simultaneously  at  the  first  sound 
of  the  trumpet 

They  were  now  in  front  of  the  kraal  of  Kreli, 
the  most  formidable  chief  in  all  KafTraria.  Past  it 
flowed  the  Xoxa  River  for  about  half  a  mile  at  the 
foot  of  a  very  steep  hilL  There  stood  the  hut  of 
Kreli,  with  several  others  around  it,  large  thorn- 
trees  dotting  the  space  between. 

Near  the  beast  and  calf  kraals  are  the  humble 
huts  of  the  Kaffirs,  always  built  by  the  women. 
They  draw  a  fair  circle  on  the  ground  about  twenty 
feet  in  diameter,  and  place  on  its  circumference 
long  rods,  about  a  foot  apart,  leaving  space  for  an 
entrance.  These  they  bend  and  join,  forming  so 
many  interlacing  arches,  with  wattle-work  between. 
The  dome  is  supported  by  strong  poles  within,  and 
the  whole  is  then  thatched  with  straw  and  clay. 

From  the  situation  of  the  kraal  on  the  hill,  the 
enemy  had  but  one  way  of  escape — a  flat  space 
that  opened  out  towards  the  Manubie  Forest,  a 
mile  and  a  half  down  the  river.  Unluckily  for  his 
plans.  Commandant  Griffiths  had  not  sufficient  force 
to  hold  this  outlet,  though  his  guns  covered  it  for 
the  whole  distance. 

On  the  arrival  of  the  Fingoes,  who  were  some- 
what slow  in  coming  to  the  front,  they  were 
directed  to  go  round  the  base  of  the  green  grassy 
hill  on  which  the  attacking  force  was  posted,  and 
then  wheel  to  the  left,  to  drive  the  Galekas  under 
the  fire  of  the  Volunteers  on  the  right  A  troop  of 
Police  accompanied  them. 

A  few  straggling  musket-shots  reverberated 
among  the  hills,  and  the  orderly  trumpeter  sounded 
the  "advance."  The  guns  reached  the  crest  of 
the  hills  at  a  gallop  and  were  wheeled  round  with 
muzzles  towards  the  enemy ;  the  limbers  were  cast 
ofi",  and  a  sharp  fire  with  shrapnel  shell  opened  on 
the  kraal,  with  all  its  flimsy  huts,  while  the  Volun- 
teers, Armed  Police,  and  Fingoes,  dismounting, 
opened  an  independent  file  fire  at  the  distance  of 
only  200  yards. 

The  Galekas  were  taken  completely  by  surprise, 
and  fled  for  the  outlet  by  the  bank  of  the  Xoxa, 
pursued  for  more  than  three  miles  by  all  the  forces 
except  the  reserve,  the  guns  being  continually  fired 
upon  them  as  opportunities  served.  The  wretched 
fugitives  were  terribly  cut  up,  yet  they  halted,  and 
made  a  resolute  stand  for  about  ten  minutes. 

Finding,  however,  that  Griffiths*  troops  were 
gradually  working  round  them,  and  pouring  in  a 
heavy  fire  the  while,  they  fled  to  the  bush. 

This  rally  was  made  at  the  springs  on  the  Butter- 
worth  River,  where  for  a  little  space  they  "opposed 
the  advance  of  the  Mounted  Burghers,  but  were 
successfully  overcome  by  Wainwright  with  the 
Volunteers,  in  which  service  he  was  severely 
wounded,"  as  reported  by  Griffiths. 

It  has  been  considered  strange  that  the  latter 
did  not  send  the  guns  in  pursuit,  with  case-shot; 
they  were  well  horsed,  the  gunners  well  trained,  the 
way  was  flat,  and  they  would  have  been  of  the 
greatest  use  in  scouring  and  raking  the  bush. 

The  troops  returned  to  Ibeka  dissatisfied  that 
they  were  not  permitted  to  pursue  the  enemy  to 
the  end,  and  so  crush  out  the  war.  It  was  soon 
known  that  Kreli,  who  had  lost  altogether  1,550 
men,  was  anxious  to  make  peace  after  his  kraal 
was  destroyed  by  fire,  but,  by  some  mistake  on  the 
part  of  the  authorities  at  Ibeka,  he  was  denied  the 
opportunity  of  doing  so.  Moreover,  his  tribe  had 
been  thus  terribly  cut  up,  while  the  white  men  had 
suffered  very  little  loss. 

In  the  capture  and  destruction  of  the  kraal  their 
entire  casualties  were  only  nine,  with  three  horses 

The  general  reported  that  the  arrangements 
made  by  Commandant  Griffiths  were  excellent, 
but  that  he  was  compelled  to  fall  back  on  Ibeka 
for  want  of  supplies,  especially  of  ammunition. 

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After  waiting  twelve  days  for  these,  this  active 
officer  was  compelled  to  advance  without  them, 
and  having  by  some  means  procured  seven  days' 
rations  for  his  troops,  with  Fingoes  as  guides,  he 
marched  past  where  the  ashes  of  Kreli's  kraal 
stood,  and  advanced  towards  Lusisi  in  Galekaland, 
along  a  good  road,  bordered  by  beautiful  pastures, 
intersected  by  small  streams,  and  dotted  here  and 
there  with  fine  coppices. 

Lusisi  had  been  a  trading  station,  thirty-five 
miles  from  Ibeka,  but  only  the  ruins  of  it  remained, 
as  the  whole  place  had  been  burned  when  the 
war  began. 

Within  fifteen  miles  of  it  Griffiths  halted,  and 
encamped  on  a  hill,  waiting  for  his  expected  sup- 
plies ;  but  as  none  came,  he  advanced  to  his  desti- 
nation, and  encamped  there,  on  low  ground,  in  the 
form  of  a  square,  with  the  baggage-waggons  on  one 
side  of  the  laager  and  the  three  7-pounders  in  the 
centre.  That  night  the  rain  fell  in  pitiless  torrents, 
and  so,  miserably  enough,  passed  the  first  hours  of 
the  troops  in  Galekaland,  with  the  scouts  of  the 
enemy  hovering  on  the  hills  in  front 

By  daybreak  next  morning  the  outlying  pickets 
fell  back,  reporting  the  approach  of  the  enemy, 
and  the  trumpet  sounded  "  to  arms."  The  troops 
were  posted  in  extended  order  round  the  camp, 
while  five  troops  were  ordered  to  dismount,  picket 
their  horses,  and  advance  towards  an  adjacent 
bush.  This  body  formed  the  main  fi-ont  On  its 
extreme  right  a  great  force  of  sombre  Galekas  was 
seen  swooping  down  from  the  hills;  fire  flashed 
out  from  the  masses  as  the  engagement  began, 
when  they  had  nearly  surrounded  the  camp.  The 
firing  was  heavy  on  both  sides ;  but  Griffiths  was 
unable  to  use  his  field-pieces,  as  the  Fingoes  were 
skirmishing  in  the  bush  and  endeavouring  to  drive 
the  Galekas  out 

The  latter,  after  a  two  hours*  engagement,  sud- 
denly retreated,  pursued  by  the  whole  force,  till 
torrents  of  rain  fell,  and  Griffiths  desired  his 
orderly  trumpeter  to  sound  the  "  retire." 

Some  time  afterwards,  tidings  came  to  camp  that 
some  Galekas — supposed  to  be  chiefs  of  distinction 
— had  obtained  concealment  in  a  cave.  On  this 
two  of  the  Fingo  leaders — brothers,  named  Goss, 
firontier  farmers,  living  on  the  Umtata  River,  both 
universally  liked  and  respected — went  with  a  few 
of  their  men  to  ferret  them  out  To  reach  the 
cave,  the  mouth  of  which  was  about  two  feet  high, 
it  was  necessary  to  ascend  a  stream.  The  Fingoes 
entered  resolutely  in  a  creeping,  position,  and  were 
all  shot  dead 

William  Goss  then  approached  with  three  men, 
and  they  were  also  shot  dead — Goss  through  the 

heart  Two  more  Fingoes,  with  Michael  Goss,  flien 
approached ;  the  former  were  shot  dead,  and  Goss 
was  wounded  in  the  arm.  He  called  for  more  to 
follow  him,  but  he  and  they  were  all  shot  dead, 
save  one  who  escaped 

Allan  Maclean  and  his  Fingoes  now  came  up 
and  he  boldly  tried  to  enter  with  two.  One  was 
shot,  and  Maclean  had  his  arm  grazed  by  a  bullet, 
so  it  became  necessary  to  try  other  measures  to 
unearth  these  resolute  savages,  and  volley-firing 
was  resorted  to  at  150  yards  firom  the  mouth  of 
the  cave,  into  which  the  occupants  only  receded 

"  A  Fingo  now  climbed  up  the  bank  right  above 
the  cave,  armed  with  an  assegai,"  says  the  author  of 
"The  Cape  Mounted  Rifles."  "  A  stick  was  then 
cut,  and  a  hat  put  on  it  Now,  as  only  one  man 
could  come  out  of  the  cave  at  a  time  to  fire,  they 
felt  pretty  sure  of  getting  one ;  so  they  put  the 
stick  with  the  hat  round  the  comer.  A  party  of 
men  were  in  readiness  to  rush  into  the  cave  directly 
the  shot  had  been  fired  from  it  A  nigger  came 
out  of  the  cave  to  fire  at  the  hat,  and  was  imme- 
diately stabbed  through  the  neck  by  the  Fingo 
above,  and  in  the  confusion  that  followed  the  party 
rushed  in  and  killed  the  remainder  of  the  men 
inside.  There  were  seven  Galekas  in  all  On  our 
side  we  lost  eleven  Fingoes  and  the  brothers  Goss, 
who,  poor  fellows,  both  left  widows  and  large 
families.  We  buried  them  the  next  morning,  and 
thus  in  the  middle  of  Kaffirland  they  found  their 

While  Griffiths*  force  was  at  Lusbi,  half  drowned 
by  incessant  rain,  and  half  starved  from  want  of 
rations.  Major  Elliot,  an  active  officer,  who  had 
collected  a  body  of  3,000  loyal  Tembus,  took  up  a 
position  at  Fort  Bowker,  the  mounds  of  which — 
thrown  up  during  a  contest  with  the  Galekas  fifteen 
years  before — were  still  surviving,  and  the  plan  of  a 
campaign  for  the  complete  dispersal  of  the  enemy 
was  now  resolved  on. 

With  this  view,  three  columns  were  formed,  and 
a  7-pounder  was  attached  to  each. 

The  whole  force  under  Griffiths  is  thus  given  by 
General  Cunynghame : — Frontier  Armed  Police, 
500  sabres ;  Burghers,  1,000 ;  Fingoes,  between 
3,000  and  4,000 ;  Tembus,  under  Major  Elliot,  and 
holding  Fort  Bowker,  3,000. 

The  enemy  now  began  to  fall  back,  making  but 
feeble  attempts  to  resist,  retiring  along  the  sea 
margin  towards  the  mouth  of  the  Bashee  River, 
across  which  they  sent  6,000  women,  with  all  their 
children,  into  Bomvanaland,  in  November,  1877,  to- 
gether with  a  great  quantity  of  cattle.  The  Bom- 
vanas^  while  anxious  to  prevent  these  fugitives  from 

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crossing,  would  not  fire  for  fear  of  injuring  the 
women ;  but  finding  it  useless  to  attempt  prevent- 
ing their  passage,  they  withdrew  to  the  various 
mountain  paths,  with  the  view  of  confining  the 
Galekas  to  the  bank  of  the  Bashee  and  obstructing 
their  further  progress  inland. 

In  advancing,  the  three  columns  were  in  extended 
order  by  day,  and  at  night  formed  a  camp.  Their 
progress  was  slow  and  laborious,  having  to  ford 
many  rivers,  and  being  often  without  food,  which 
was  acutely  felt  by  the  men,  owing  to  the  hard 
work  they  had  to  perform. 

"Affairs,"  wrote  the  general,  quoting  the  com- 
plaints which  appeared  in  the  Cape  papers,  "reached 
a  climax  at  our  camp,  when,  during  three  days  of 
incessant  rain,  we  were  almost  wholly  without  pro- 
visions, our  sole  food  consisting  of  meat,  without 
even  a  pinch  of  salt,  and  a  few  mealies  given  us  by 
the  Fingoes.  Shortly  after  this,  at  a  place  where 
we  effected  a  junction  with  the  commandant,  we 
were  ordered  to  start  when  the  rations  were  two 
days  overdue !  On  our  refusal,  we  were  told  to  be 
careful  what  we  were  about ;  that  it  amounted  to 
mutiny,  &c  But  on  the  men  remaining  firm,  Mr. 
Maclean  spoke  to  the  commandant,  and  eventually 
we  were  served  out  with  a  handful  of  broken 
mouldy  biscuits,  some  men,  but  not  all,  being 
fortunate  enough  to  get  a  very  small  quantity  of 
bad  meat  ....  When  a  patrol  is  warned  (for 
duty)  it  is  arranged  so  that  we  have  to  thrust  hot 
and  reeking  meat  into  the  saddle-bags,  and  take 
green  coffee,  thus  being  deprived  of  our  only  luxury, 
and  having  frequently  to  throw  away  the  meat; 
instead  of  being  warned  in  time,  to  dry  the  one, 
and  grind,  with  two  stones,  the  other." 

"Those  who  are  acquainted  with  the  Crimean 
war,"  adds  the  general,  in  a  note,  "  will  remember 
the  green  coffee." 

The  provisions  were  not  weighed,  but  served  out 
in  pannikins  according  to  the  judgment  of  the 
quartermaster ;  and,  by  reason  of  the  want  of  proper 
utensils,  the  meal  was  often  mixed  upon  an  old 

Such  were  some  of  the  pleasures  of  the  Galeka 

The  whole  tribes  were  now  represented  as  being 
thoroughly  disheartened,  breaking  up  into  small 
bands,  and  refusing  to  answer  the  war  cry  of  their 
chiefs,  and  the  capture  of  Kreli  himself  was  believed 
to  be  only  a  thing  of  time ;  and  in  November  the 
Government  was  actuallyadvertising  for  applications 
for  grants  of  farms  of  300  acres  each,  in  the  western 
portion  of  the  conquered  land,  bon&  fide  personal 
occupation  being  one  of  the  conditions. 

The  Burgher  force  now  demanded  their  dis- 

charges ;  and  as  there  was  no  law  to  retain  them 
against  their  will,  they  marched  home,  taking  with 
them  all  the  cattle  they  could  collect,  while  Elliot's 
column  returned  to  Tembuland,  and  Griffiths' 
force  to  Ibeka ;  but  the  strife  was  not  yet  over,  as 
the  moment  Fort  Bowker  was  abandoned  the 
Galekas  returned  from  the  Bashee  River,  and  the 
land  swarmed  with  them  agaia 

Thus  a  smart  engagement  ensued  on  the  i3lh 
of  November,  near  the  Umtata  River,  in  which 
sixty  Galekas  were  killed,  and  ten  of  the  Colonial 

Prior  to  this,  Mapassa,  a  Galeka  of  consequence, 
had  left  the  tribe  of  Kreli,  and  crossed  the  river 
Kei  into  the  Colony  with  a  great  body  of  followers. 
A  fatal  mistake  was  made  in  not  disarming  these 
men,  who  squatted  upon  the  richest  land,  retaining 
their  muskets,  assegais,  and  cattle.  Eventually  all 
these  people  made  their  way  in  the  night  to  San- 
dilli  and  fraternised  with  the  Gaikas,  who,  though 
not  yet  at  open  war  with  us,  were  only  waiting  their 

On  the  2nd  December,  1877,  a  sharp  combat 
took  place  at  Umzintzani,  a  few  miles  from  Ibeka. 

On  the  road  towards  the  mouth  of  the  Kei  River 
there  was  a  large  trading  station  known  as  Holland's 
Shop,  which  had  been  burned  to  the  ground  by  the 
Galekas.  Towards  this  place  a  patrolling  force 
was  sent  on  the  date  givea  It  consisted  of  Infantry 
Volunteers  from  Fort  Elizabeth,  two  pieces  of 
cannon,  and  the  9th  troop  of  the  Police;  the 
whole  being  under  the  command  of  Captain 
Zachary  S.  Bayly,  formerly  adjutant  of  the  9th 
Foot,  and  who  afterwards  became  colonel  of  the 
Armed  Police  when  that  force  was  re-constituted 
as  the  new  Cape  Mounted  Rifles. 

The  patrol  left  Ibeka  at  4  a.m. ;  but  was  not 
fairly  on  the  road  till  9.  A  few  miles'  steady 
marching  brought  it  opposite  the  place  where  stood 
the  ruins  of  Kreli's  kraal,  when  a  couple  of  troopers 
came  galloping  back  with  orders  from  Inspector 
Bourne,  who  was  with  the  advanced  guard,  to  press 
on,  as  the  Galekas  were  in  force  in  firont  and  had 
attacked  him.  Captain  Bayly,  with  Lieutenants 
Wells  and  Stigant,  with  the  artillery,  went  forward 
at  a  hard  trot,  and  the  infantry  followed  as  quickly 
as  possible. 

"  We  marched  as  fast  as  we  could  for  a  couple 
of  hours,"  wrote  one  who  was  there,  "  and  arrived 
at  a  place  called  Holland's  Shop.  We  found  that 
the  Police  had  been  fired  on,  and  one  of  their 
horses  shot  in  the  shoulder.  The  Galekas 
could  be  seen  on  a  ridge  opposite  to  us. 
Below  us  was  a  deep  kloof  leading  to  the  Buora 
Kuga  River.     As  far  as  I  could  judge,  the  Police 

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and.  Graham's  Town  Artillery  were  sent  round  to 
the  opposite  side  to  drive  the  enemy  down  the 
kloof  towards  us,  we  marching  down  the  ridge  on 
our  side  to  meet  them  as  they  came  through ;  but 
we  could  not  get  a  chance  at  them  then,  as  they  were 
too  far  off  for  us  to  use  our  rifles." 

In  the  deep  kloof  or  valley  the  dark  figures  of 
the  Galekas  were  seen  in  great  strength.  This 
was  about  three  in  the  aftemooa 

The  Police  advanced  guard  had  opened  fire  on 
them  at  250  yards,  and  were  holding  them  pretty  well 
in  check,  when  Lieutenant  Wells  came  galloping  up 
to  their  aid,  and  had  a  gun,  which  was  remarkably 
well  horsed,  unlimbered  and  brought  into  action,  and 
poured  case-shot  into  the  bush  with  murderous 
effect — ^while  the  yells  of  the  Galekas,  ascending 
from  the  kloof,  seemed  to  rend  the  sky. 

Shell  after  shell  went  whistling  and  shrieking 
into  the  dark  leafy  hollow,  out  of  which  the  Galekas 
soon  went,  rushing  to  join  those  who  crowded  the 
ridge,  and  who  from  thence  made  a  movement  to 
turn  Bayl/s  flank — a  daring  attempt 

A  body  of  Police  was  sent  to  bar  this  mancBuvre, 
on  which  fully  500  Galekas  made  a  wild  and  furious 
rush  on  the  httie  force  that  remained — only  twenty 
Police  and  twelve  artillerymen!  The  order  was 
given  to  "retire"  while  they  were  yet  150  yards 
distant  The  Police  speedily  mounted  and  fell 
back — ^all  save  three  luckless  fellows,  whose  horses 
had  broken  loose.  Two  got  safe  under  the  muzzle 
of  the  gun,  but  a  third — named  Wellesley — whose 
thigh-bone  had  been  broken  by  a  shot,  was  imme- 
diately assegaied,  though  he  fought  desperately  on 
his  knees,  and  slew  four  Kaffirs  before  he  was  des- 
patched. Many  were  shot  down  by  the  troopers 
and  artillerymen  there,  as  they  clustered  in  a  mob 
about  the  miserable  man,  stabbing  hiip  to  death. 

Lieutenant  Wells  waited  till  the  Galekas  were 
within  sixty  yards  of  the  gun,  and  fired  a  case-shot 
with  terrible  effect  into  the  midst  of  them.  Then, 
instantly  taking  advantage  of  the  terror,  confusion, 
and  slaughter  that  had  ensued,  he  limbered  up,  and 
withdrew  at  a  gallop,  bringing  off  with  him  the  two 
Police  troopers  in  safety  to  the  top  of  a  steep  hill. 

The  enemy  continued  to  hover  in  front,  till, 
gathering  in  force  about  two  hours  before  the 
ruddy  sunset  peculiar  to  Africa,  they  prepared  to 
charge  Bayly's  force;  but  the  two  guns  were 
brought  into  action,  and  sent  into  them  round  after 
round  of  case-shot,  till  the  Galekas  were  driven 
to  seek  shelter  behind  boulders  and  ant-heaps. 

The  sun  had  now  set,  but  the  clear,  bright 

African  moon  was  shining  overhead  in  a  cloudless 

sky ;  and  favoured  by  its  light,  the  Galekas  again 

advanced  en  masse,  pouring  in  a  fire,  and  pressing 

on  towards  the  guns,'  and  many  were  wounded. 
"For  perhaps  ten  minutes  our  men  were  ex- 
cited," says  the  writer  before  quoted  by  General 
Cunynghame,  "  and  many  fired  at  random.  Not 
for  long,  however;  they  soon  settled  down  to 
steady  work,  reserving  their  fire  until  they  covered 
a  foe.  But  for  quite  an  hour  and  a  half  there  was 
one  incessant  rattle  of  musketry,  and  it  is  little  less 
than  a  miracle  that  any  of  us  escaped.  And  the 
danger  was  as  great  from  the  rear  as  the  front,  for 
fear  of  being  hemmed  in ;  bullets  fired  from  one 
flank  passed  over  to  the  other.  Not  till  after  eight 
o'clock  did  the  enemy's  fire  slacken,  and  a  chance 
was  given  us  to  breathe." 

They  retired  again  into  the  deep  woody  kloof,  and 
were  seen  no  more  that  night 

Of  their  loss  it  is  impossible  to  judge  ;  but  one 
thing  is  certain — the  guns  and  Snider  rifles  made 
fearful  havoc  among  them,  and  a  great  number  of 
their  wounded  were  carried  off.  All  that  remained 
were  assegaied  and  ripped  up  by  some  Fingoes  who 
came  on  the  ground  next  morning. 

About  the  ridge  there  lay  eighty  bodies,  and  the 
wounded  were  supposed  to  amount  to  hundreds. 
Some  of  the  killed  were  men  of  importance,  judging 
from  their  ornaments. 

This  fight  at  Umzintzani  (so  called  from  a  small 
river  of  that  name)  caused  no  small  anxiety  along 
the  whole  frontier.  It  was  now  known  that,  leaving 
all  their  young  women,  cattle,  and  valuable  pro- 
perty beyond  the  Bashee,  they  had  taken  the 
field  again,  desperate  and  unencumbered. 

The  enemy  were  said  to  be  under  the  command 
of  Sidgow,  a  chief  who  was  asserted  to  bear  a 
charmed  life.  He  had  been  many  times  wounded, 
and  often  escaped  captiure  with  great  diflSculty. 
He  was  notorious  for  his  intense  hatred  of  all 
white  men,  and  was  alike  brave  and  intelligent 

At  this  crisis  the  Cape  Government  strove  to 
bring  the  Burghers  and  other  volunteers  to  the 
front,  but  they  had  been  so  badly  treated  on 
previous  occasions  that  one  and  all  of  them  refused 
to  serve. 

**  It  was  impossible  that  the  Governor  could  see 
an  army  of  savages  collecting  on  the  border  of  the 
colony,  and  threatening  any  day  to  overrun  it, 
without  taking  the  most  strenuous  measures  in  his 
power  to  disperse  and  destroy  them," .  wrote  Sir 
Arthur  Cunynghame.  "  He  saw  that  this  could  not 
be  accomplished  by  the  neglected  defensive  forces 
of  the  colony,  and,  despite  the  chances  of  a  re- 
bellion within  our  frontier,  he  requested  me  to  use 
my  utmost  endeavour  to  collect  together  the  best 
force  I  could,  and  march  them  over  the  Kei  This 
was  on  the  6th  of  December,  1877." 

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The  generaVs  first  act  was  to  order  every  available 
man  of  the  88th  Connaught  Rangers,  then  at  Cape 
'J  own,  to  the  front,  while  fifty  men  of  the  24th 
Warwickshire  Regiment  were  mounted  for  cavalry 
cervice.     Arms  were  placed  in  the  hands  of  every 

and  a  small  artillery  force  was  soon  organised; 
there  were  no  troops  to  defend  King  William's 
Town  after  the  24th  were  scattered  over  eight 
stations,  and  "  there  were  no  stores  for  a  march,  no 
transport,  no  mounted  men,  no  regular  artillery- 


non-combatant  of  the  forces  in  King  William's 
Town,  and  even  the  band  of  the  24th  had  to  lay 
aside  their  instruments  for  instruction  in  gunner>% 
A  7-pounder,  weighing  150  pounds,  was  placed  in 
their  charge,  and  the  rapidity  with  which  these 
musicians  acquired  their  gun  drill  delighted  all. 
After  only  ten  days'  instruction  they  were  able 
to  load  and  come  into  action  in  fifteen  seconds ;  but 
there  was  no  duty  whatever  which  that  gallant  old 
24th  Regiment  was  not  equal  to. 

Horses  were  purchased  to  drag  four  7-poundcrs, 

men,  and  the  civil  Government  would  not,  or  could 
not,  supplement  any  of  these  requisites.  The  War 
Minister  urged  the  advance  of  Her  Majesty's 
troops  without  these  essentials.  *Push  over  the 
Kei,*  said  he,  '  with  a  few  Scotch  carts ;  cross  by 
the  nearest  route,  the  Chickaba.'  I  should  ill, 
indeed,"  wrote  Sir  Arthur,  "have  performed  my 
duty  to  Her  Majesty  or  the  colony  if  I  had  sent 
200  men — all  that  could  be  possibly  brought  to- 
gether— wildly,  without  transport,  ammunition,  or 
guns,  into  a  dense  bush,  across  a  river  running 

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through  stupendous  ravines,  under  the  conditions 
recommended,  *  with  a  few  Scotch  carts,'  and  over 
a  drift  which  afterwards  proved  impracticable." 

Early  in  December  some  of  Her '  Majesty's 
troops  began  to  cross  the  Kei  River,  and  marched 
to  Ibeka.  From  that  point  their  operations  were 
to  begin,  together  with  the  Frontier  Police,  for  the 
clearance  of  Galekaland  for  the  third  time.  Posts, 
called  Komgha,  PuUen's  Farm,  and  Impetu,  had 
been  occupied  for  some  time  previously.  The 
troops  from  thence  were  moved  to  Ibeka^  their 
places  being  taken  by  part  of  the  Connaught 
Rangers.  A  Naval  Brigade,  furnished  by  H.M.S. 
Active^  with  two  guns  and  two  24-pound  rocket- 
tubes,  took  part  at  Ibeka. 

A  corps  of  infantry,  called  Pulleine's  Rangers, 
and  another  of  cavalry,  called  Carrington's  Horse, 
were  raised  respectively  by  Major  Henry  B.  PuUeine 
and  Lieutenant  Carrington,  of  the  2  4tlt  Regiment 
Lieutenant  Raphael  Clements  of  the  same  corps  led 
the  Mounted  Infantry ;  and  the  entire  command  in 
the  Transkei  was  entrusted  to  Colonel  Richard  T. 
Glyn,  of  the  24th. 

"On  the  2 1  St  December,"  says  the  general 
commanding,  "I  left  King  William's  Town  to  join 
the  forces  in  the  Transkei  Passing  by  Deadman's 
Gully,  Hangman's  Bush,  and  Murderer's  Kop  (a 
gloomy  list  of  prominent  points),  I  arrived  that 
evening  at  Komgha." 

Prior  to  that,  on  the  nth  of  the  same  month. 
Captain  Robinson,  of  the  Frontier  Police,  with  a 
force  of  ICO  men  and  500  Fingoes,  had  an  en- 
counter with  the  Galekas,  who  lost  30  men  and  60 
cattle  before  they  were  put  to  flight 

According  to  Streatfield,  the  dresses  of  our 
Fingo  levies  were  peculiar,  and  varied  greatly. 
A  few  were  fairly  clad  in  suits  of  cord,  but  the 
majority  wore  dilapidated  garments  of  every  size 
and  shape,  while  "their  head-gear  was  something 
marvellous  to  behold.  Two  of  them  had  old  top 
hats,  which,  under  the  circumstances,  looked  more 
ridiculous  than  anything  else."  A  corps  of  500 
Fingoes  will  march  fifty  miles  in  a  day,  without  a 
man  falling  out  "They  act  according  to  their 
lights,"  he  adds.  "  They  well  know  that  no  quarter 
would  be  shown  to  them  by  the  Kaffirs  \  and  from 
their  infancy  they  have  been  brought  up  to  regard 
pain  and  death  as  nothing,  and  think  it  is  the  proper 
thing  to  kill  all  Kaffirs  that  fall  into  their  power." 

On  the  1 6th  of  December,  when  H.M.S.  Active 
and  the  Florence^  which  had  come  to  the  east  coast 
with  troops  and  Marines,  sent  a  surf-boat  into 
Mazeppa  Bay  to  discover  a  safe  landing-place,  the 
Galekas  disputed  the  attempt,  till  they  were  dis- 
persed by  eight  shells  firom  the  first-named  ship. 

"  I  offered  500  head  of  cattle,  or  ;^i,ooo,  for  die 
capture  of  Kreli — not  dead  or  alive,  but  to  be  de- 
livered safely  into  camp,"  says  Sir  Arthur  Cunyng- 
hame.  "This  reward  continued  to  be  offered 
to  the  end  of  the  war ;  but,  to  the  honour  of  the 
Galekas  be  it  said,  that  although  they  were  in  such 
a  starving  state  as  to  be  actually  eating  the  bark  of 
the  trees,  no  traitor  was  found  base  enough  to 
betray  him.  It  reminds  one  of  the  days  of  the 
Pretender,  when  a  reward  of  ;;^3o,ooo  could  not 
induce  a  Highlander  to  betray  his  prince." 

On  the  26th  of  December  the  columns  started ; 
the  centre  was  led  by  Colonel  Glyn;  the  right, 
from  the  springs,  under  Major  Hopton;  the  left 
under  Captain  Upcher,  of  the  24th  Foot ;  and  to 
each  column  was  allotted  a  portion  of  the  Artillery, 
of  the  Naval  Brigade,  and  of  the  Mounted  Police, 
besides  1,000  Fingoes. 

The  ravines,  mountains,  and  especially  the  rivers, 
presented  great  obstacies;  but  the  latter  were 
crossed  by  pontoons,  and  1,500  head  of  fine  cattle 
were  speedily  captured,  while  H.M.S.  Active^  under 
Commodore  Sullivan,  steamed  slowly  along  in 
sight  of  the  beautiful  coast  as  the  troops  advanced, 
and  communicated  with  them  at  the  mouth  of  the 
Bashee  River. 

The  officers  in  command  were  at  first  imable  to 
ascertain  where  the 'Galekas  were,  and  in  what  force ; 
but  by  the  29th  it  was  known  that  the  Galekas,  who 
held  the  country  in  their  rear,  were  all  in  arms 
under  Sandilli,  that  the  mails  had  been  seized, 
that  communication  with  the  colony  was  cut  off, 
and  that  matters  generally  looked  very  serious. 

In  the  last  days  of  December,  small  bodies  of 
troops,  sent  to  clear  the  roads  for  postal  service, 
were  fired  on ;  and  Major  Moore,  of  the  88th,  who 
had  left  the  camp  at  Komgha,  with  a  strong  patrol, 
to  meet  the  post-riders  carrying  the  mails  on  the 
Kei  road,  was  fired  on,  and  compelled  to  retire 
with  loss;  but  the  major  won  the  V.C,  as  the 
Gazette  thus  records :  "  For  his  gallant  conduct 
in  risking  his  own  life  in  endeavouring  to  save  that 
of  Private  Giese,  of  the  Frontier  Mounted  Police, 
on  the  occasion  of  the  action  with  the  Galekas, 
near  Komgha,  on  the  29th  of  December,  1877." 

Private  Giese  had  been  unable  to  mount  his 
horse,  and  was  left  at  the  mercy  of  the  KaflUrs,  on 
perceiving  which,  "  Major  Moore  rode  back  alone 
into  the  midst  of  the  enemy,  and  did  not  desist  in 
his  endeavour  to  save  the  man  until  the  latter  was 
killed.  Major  Moore  having  shot  two  Kaffirs  and 
received  an  assegai  wound  during  his  gallant 

Soon  after  this,  occurred  the  murder  of  the 
brothers  Tainton,  and  Mr.  W.  C  Brown,  by  the 

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natives,  about  eleven  miles  from  King  William's 
Town,  an  event  which  created  a  great  sensation 
along  the  frontier. 

In  the  middle  of  January,  1878,  after  various 
movements,  a  very  sharp  conflict  ensued,  which 
General  Cunynghame  calls  the  battle  of  Nyumoxa. 

Having  received  information  that  the  Galekas 
were  concentrating  near  the  Kei  in  strength,  to- 
gether with  the  Gaikas  of  Sandilli,  orders  were  sent 
to  Colonel  Glyn,  who  was  then  at  the  mouth  of  the 
Bashee,  to  march  back  at  once  to  Ibeka  ;  to  which 
place  he  came  in  three  days  by  forced  marches, 
the  soldiers,  sailors  and  police  being  full  of  delight 
at  the  prospect  of  grappling  with  wily  enemies  who 
had  so  often  eluded  them. 

At  daybreak  on  the  morning  of  the  13th  the 
troops  marched  to  join  the  Quintana  column,  now 
commanded  by  Major  Owen,  of  the  88th  Foot 
Scarcely  had  his  camp  been  reached,  when  Lieu- 
tenant Coghill  came  galloping  up  to  General 
Cunynghame,  announcing  the  advance  of  the 
enemy.  Large  bodies  of  them  were  visible  on 
some  adjacent  heights. 

Captain  Robinson,  R.A.,  with  seventy  Mounted 
Police  and  two  7 -pounders,  remained  in  the  rear 
to  protect  the  camp.  The  order  to  advance  was 
given.  Colonel  Glyn  (an  officer  who  had  served 
with  the  82  nd  Regiment  in  the  Crimea,  and  wore 
a  medal  and  clasp  for  Sebastopol)  took  command 
of  both  columns ;  Major  Owen  led  his  own,  which 
was  in  the  first  line  of  attack ;  Captain  Upcher  led 
the  second. 

The  grotesque-looking  Fingoes,  200  in  number, 
under  Captain  Veldtman,  preceded  the  advance, 
and  disposed  themselves  with  musket  and  assegai 
to  co-operate  in  the  attack.  On  reaching  the  brow 
of  a  hill,  the  dusky  masses  of '  the  enemy  were 
perceived  in  vast  strength,  and  on  beholding  our 
columns  they  advanced  resolutely. 

Our  first  line  consisted  of  one  company  of  the 
24th,  on  the  right ;  another  of  the  88th,  on  the 
left.  In  the  centre  were  the  guns,  under  Lieu- 
tenant Kell,  and  a  rocket  party  of  blue-jackets, 
under  Lieutenant  Cochrane ;  and  another  with  men 
of  the  24th,  under  Lieutenant  Maine,  of  the  Royal 

In.spector  Bourne's  troop  of  Police,  posted  some- 
what in  the  rear,  commanded  a  deep  kloof  to 
protect  the  left  flank;  Inspector  Chalmers'  troop, 
on  the  left,  commanded  another.  The  reserve  was 
formed  by  Captain  Upcher's  party,  consisting  of 
the  24th  Regiment,  and  some  Marines  under  Lieu- 
tenant Dowding. 

The  scene  of  this  encounter  was  an  undulating 
plain,  with  a  rugged  foreground,  kloofs,  deep  and 

darkly- wooded  with  the  most  luxuriant  foliage,  lying 
on  either  flank  ;  whilst  the  ground  immediately  in 
front  of  the  position  sloped  away  into  a  small 
valley,  covered  by  long  feathery  grass,  rough 
boulders,  and  tangled  brushwood,  excellent  for 

At  half-past  four  p.m.,  while  the  enemy  were 
swarming  on  the  face  of  the  opposite  hills,  the  first 
rocket  was  sent  hissing  into  them.  Three  men 
fell,  and  the  Kaffirs,  totally  unaccustomed  to  such 
fiery  missiles,  dispersed,  and  began  to  descend  into 
the  kloofs  on  either  flank.  Independent  file-firing 
was  begun  by  Inspector  Bourne's  troop,  and  then 
the  action  became  general  along  the  whole  line. 

The  troops  now  broke  into  skirmishing  order; 
led  by  Major  Owen,  the  88th  rushed  on  with  a 
wild  Irish  cheer,  and  opened  a  hot  fire  on  the 
Kaffirs,  whose  dark  nude  forms  were  visible  as 
they  came  creeping  up  the  kloofs  to  take  advan- 
tage of  the  long  grass  and  rugged  ground  in  front. 
Four  of  the  88th  fell — three  were  severely  wounded  ; 
and  finding  them  hotly  engaged,  Colonel  Glyn 
reinforced  the  skirmishers  by  the  mounted  men 
of  the  24th,  who,  leaving  their  horses  on  the  brow 
of  a  hill,  dashed  down,  under  Lieutenant  Clements, 
to  the  aid  of  their  Irish  comrades,  and  the  Kaffirs 
were  forced  to  fall  back  into  the  kloofs  ;  but 
eventually,  as  they  came  on  again  in  great  force. 
Colonel  Glyn  was  compelled  to  bring  up  his  small 

Under  Captain  Upcher,  this  force  came  into 
action  at  the  double,  and  breaking  into  skirmishing 
order,  overlapped  the  enemy's  flank  on  their  right, 
and  by  a  galling  and  biting  fire  drove  them  back, 
and  slowly  and  sullenly  they  retired,  returning  the 
fire  of  the  troops. 

Again  they  were  driven  into  the  kloofs,  which, 
unluckily  for  them,  were  now  manned  by  Veldt- 
man's  ferocious  Fingoes,  who  attacked  them,  and 
did  terrible  execution,  the  bullet  beginning  what 
the  knife  and  assegai  were  sure  to  finish  fully. 

The  kloofs  and  wooded  krantzes  were  heavily 
shelled  during  the  action  by  the  two  7 -pounder 
guns  under  Lieutenant  Kell  of  the  88th,  and  their 
deepest  recesses  were  searched  by  the  flaming 
rockets  of  the  two  parties  detached  for  that  i)ur- 

After  a  conflict  of  an  hour  and  a  quarter,  the 
Kaffirs  gave  way,  were  pursued  from  bush  to  bush, 
and  driven  from  every  point  where  they  strove  to 
make  a  rally.  As  usual  they  carried  off  most  of 
their  wounded;  fifty-four  lay  dead  in  front  of  the 
position,  "and  from  the  number  of  wounded 
brought  in  on  the  following  day,  and  the  subse- 
quent discovery  of  mpre  bodies  in  the  kloofs  and 

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woods,  we  may  fairly  conjecture  that  a  salutary 
lesson  was  administered  to  them." 

Four  chiefs  of  rank  were  among  the  slain. 

The  soldiers  of  the  24th  were  much  elated,  the 
more  so  that  the  action  was  fought  on  the  anniver- 
sary of  Chillianwallah,  in  which,  some  twenty  years 
before,  the  regiment  so  much  distinguished  itself, 
and  saw  thirteen  of  its  officers  laid  dead  on  the 
mess  table. 

Several  instances  of  the  killing  powers  of  the 
Martini-Henry  rifle  were  remarked  in  this  combat ; 
indeed,  it  was  almost  the  first  occasion  in  which 
our  soldiers  used  it  "All  of  them,"  says  the 
general,  "  were  eclipsed  at  the  Water  Kloof  when 
the  Sergeant-Instructor  of  Musketry  of  the  90th 
Perthshire  Light  Infantry  killed  a  Kaffir  by  a 
deliberate  aim  at  1,800  yards'  distance — a  little 
over  a  mile  !  Near  Baillie's  grave,  one  of  the 
enemy  made  himself  defiantly  conspicuous  to  a 
party  of  the  2nd  battalion  24th  Regiment  Several 
shots  were  fired  at  him,  which  caused  the  fellow 
gradually  to  increase  his  distance.  At  slightly  over 
1, 000  yards  the  native  appeared  to  consider  himself 
safe ;  but  an  officer  came  upon  the  scene,  and  at 
his  first  shot  the  whooping  and  dancing  Kaffir 
received  a  fatal  bullet  between  the  shoulders." 

On  the  8th  of  January  the  general  had  received 
a  very  alarming  message  in  cypher  firom  Captain 
Warden,  commanding  a  detachment  of  the  24th 
Regiment  in  Fort  Warwick  at  Impetu.  It  was 
brought  by  a  loyal  native,  who  successfully  eluded 
the  enemy,  and  contained  intelligence  that  the 
slender  force  at  Impetu  was  surrounded  and  cut 
off,  as  were  also  seventeen  unfortunate  men  in  a 
place  called  Fort  Linsingen.     It  ran  thus : — 

"  We  are  surrounded  on  all  sides  by  Kaffirs,  who 
are  destroying  everything.  Spencer  is  here  with 
his  men  from  Port  Buffalo,  all  except  the 
party  at  Fort  Linsingen.  I  do  not  see  my  way  to 
relieving  them  at  present,  the  enemy  being  so 
strong  between  us  in  the  Chickaba.  It  will  be  as 
much  as  we  can  do  to  hold  our  own  here. 
Spencer's  camp  was  attacked  last  night;  it  adjoined 
our  redoubt  Enemy  driven  off.  No  loss  to  us. 
Expect  some  will  occur  after  in  some  form,  as  they 
appear  so  very  determined.  In  broad  daylight  yester- 
day they  carried  off  about  100  of  our  commissariat 
oxen.  The  Chickaba  is  full  of  Kaffirs,  under  five 
chiefs.  We  want  ammunition  to  complete  our  re- 
serve, and  also  Sniders  for  Volunteers.  I  should 
like  a  field-piece,  also  some  rockets ;  our  position 
is  so  very  open  and  exposed.  We  have  supplies 
for  about  ten  days.  Ten  families  in  *  laager  *  here. 
Have  seventy  women  and  children,  who  passed  the 
night  in  the  ditch  of  our  fort     Maclean  has  not  yet 

returned  We  are  obliged  to  be  under  arms  all 
night     Can  you  send  me  any  sandbags  ?  " 

The  relief  of  Impetu  was  at  once  resolved  on. 
The  following  morning  saw  Lieutenant-Colonel 
Lambert,  of  the  88th  (who,  when  a  subaltern,  had 
been  wounded  at  Inkerman  and  in  the  assault  of 
the  Redan),  leave  Komgha  with  a  force  of  three 
7-pounders,  467  infantry,  86  horse,  called  Sansom*s 
Volunteers,  and  250  Fingo  levies. 

Without  opposition  the  colonel  reached  Fort  War- 
wick, which  had  been  constructed  by  the  company 
of  the  ist  battalion  24th  Regiment  then  occupying 
it,  and  was  situated  twenty  miles  south-west  of 
Komgha,  on  the  south  side  of  the  Chickaba  River. 
"  The  road  between  had  been  impracticable,  except 
for  strong  parties,"  says  Streatfield,  "as  Kaffirs 
swarmed  over  all  the  district,  and  only  a  few  days 
before,  a  mounted  policeman,  carrying  despatches, 
had  been  killed  His  horse  was  shot  under  him, 
and  though  he  called  to  his  companions  for 
assistance,  they  galloped  off  and  left  him,  and  he 
was  found  dead,  with  his  body  mutilated  by  assegais. 
The  fort  was  a  very  snug  little  place,  well  built, 
with  huts  and  tents  inside."  The  colonel  found  that 
Captain  Wardell,  who  commanded  there,  and  was 
afterwards  killed  at  Isandhlwana,  had  relieved  the 
seventeen  soldiers  at  linsingen,  and  he  brought 
the  whole  back  to  Komgha,  together  with  a  long 
train  of  waggons,  over  100  women  and  children, 
300  head  of  cattle,  and  2,349  sheep. 

Preparations  were  now  made  for  an  attack  on  the 
enemy,  who  were  gathered  in  great  numbers  in  the 
Chickaba  Valley,  which  is  about  thirteen  miles  long, 
beginning  at  a  pomt  opposite  to  the  end  of  the 
Tala  ridge,  and  lying  parallel  with  the  river  Kei. 
The  valley  is  covered  with  dense  bush,  so  thickly 
interwoven  as  to  render  movement  impossible  in 
some  places.  There  were  no  roads,  and  the  only 
paths  down  to  it  were  rugged,  perilous,  and  pre- 
cipitous. "  It  was  very  important,**  wrote  the 
general,  "that  a  native  Fingo  force  should  be 
collected  for  the  attack  upon  Chickaba,  which  can 
be  traversed  only  with  great  difficulty  by  British 
soldiers  alone.  The  Fingoes  spy  out  an  enemy, 
and  firmly  rely  upon  the  Britbh  when  they  have 
occasion  to  retreat  They  perform  most  excellent 
service,  and  evince  much  bravery,  quite  equal  to 
either  the  Gaikas  or  the  Galekas,  or  any  other 
tribes  who  have  become  famous  warriors." 

A  short  time  prior  to  the  advance  upon  Chickaba, 
Captain  Boyes  had  been  killed  in  the  bush  there, 
and  Captain  von  Leinengen,  a  brave  and  excellent 
officer,  nearly  shared  the  same  fate  at  the  hands  of 
some  Kaffirs,  who  crept  stealthily  towards  him 
through  the  long  reedy  grass. 

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The  troops  for  the  attack  on  Chickaba  left 
Komgha  on  the  14th  of  January,  1878 ;  the  right 
column  under  the  command  of  Colonel  Lambert, 
and  the  left  under  Major  Brown,  both  of  the  88th 
Regiment  With  each  were  200  Europeans,  includ- 
ing Police  and  Volunteers,  with  1,000  Fingoes. 

On  the  15th  the  force  reached  Impetu,  and  was 
there  strengthened  by  Captain  Brabant  with  the 
East  London  Volunteers,  who  had  already  had  a 
brush  with  the  enemy,  from  whom  he  had  taken 
3,000  head  of  cattle  and  a  vast  number  of  sheep ; 
and  ere  dusk  Colonel  Lambert  had  captured  4,000 

On  the  following  morning  an  attack  was  made  in 
a  long,  deep,  and  woody  ravine,  that  teemed  with 
Kaffirs  and  their  cattle.  The  enemy  showed  a 
bold  front,  but  for  a  time  only,  as  they  were  driven 
out  with  the  loss  of  forty  men,  and  4,000  more  of 
their  cattle  were  taken. 

They  were  strongly  posted  over  an  area  of  nearly 
twenty  miles  square  of  difficult  and  woody  country, 
yet  it  was  completely  cleared  by  the  effective  shell 
and  rocket  firing ;  the  latter  kind  of  missile,  being 
altogether  beyond  their  comprehension,  filled  them 
with  dismay. 

Another  important  blow  was  soon  after  struck  at 
Quintana  by  the  column  of  Colonel  Glya  Tidings 
came  that  the  Gaikas  and  Galekas,  under  Kiva, 
Sidgow,  and  McKinnon,  were  gathering  in  the 
valley  of  the  Kei,  at  the  foot  of  the  Tala  ridge, 
and  it  was  supposed  that  they  meditated  an  attack 
upon  Ibeka,  or  Quintana,  which  is  twenty  miles 
distant  from  that  place. 

At  both  posts  large  quantities  of  ammunition  and 
other  stores  had  been  collected,  the  capture  of 
which  would  have  been  a  stroke  of  good  fortune  to 
the  enemy,  and  a  serious  one  to  the  British  troops, 
as  the  provisions  accumulated  in  these  places  repre- 
sented the  entire  stores  available  in  the  TranskeL 

A  strong  detachment  of  the  Frontier  Police,  with 
two  7-pounders,  was  sent  to  Leslie's  Mission  (which 
stands  midway  between  the  two  stations),  under  the 
command  of  Captain  Robins,  and  was  intended  as 
a  reserve  in  case  of  either  being  attacked  by  Kreli 
or  Sandilli,  both  of  whom  were  close  by. 

By  the  advice  of  Captain  Nixon,  of  the  Royal 
Engineers,  the  general  had  selected  Quintana  as  a 
defensive  post,  and  shelter  trenches  had  been  con- 
structed there ;  and  on  sure  intelligence  coming 
that  it  was  to  be  the  point  assailed,  preparations 
were  made  for  the  event 

The  force  stationed  at  Quintana  consisted  of 
three  companies  of  the  Warwickshire,  50  troopers 
of  Carrington's  Light  Infantry,  25  of  the  Naval 
Brigade,  with    a    24-pound  rocket-tube,  a  Police 

troop  of  60  sabres,  and  a  gun  detachment  of  11 
men,  a  7-pounder  of  the  Cape  Town  Artillery,  200 
Fingoes,  under  Allan  Maclean;  Captain  Upcher,  of 
the  24th,  commanding  the  whole 

Quintana  stands  on  an  elevated  spur,  round  the 
base  of  which  flows  a  small  stream.  On  three 
sides  the  position  sloped  down;  on  the  fourth  it 
was  flat,  and  crowned  by  the  road  that  leads  to 
Ibeka.  On  the  north  rose  a  hill  overlooking  a 
deep  gully  and  stream,  and  about  a  mile  distant  was 
another  hill  covered  with  thorny  trees — positions 
that  would  have  rendered  Quintana  untenable  had 
the  enemy  been  furnished  with  artillery. 

In  front,  or  to  the  west,  lay  level  ground, 
studded  by  trees  and  shrubs,  that  afforded  excel- 
lent cover  for  skirmishers. 

Upcher  formed  his  infantry  in  square,  with  a  gun 
at  each  of  three  comers,  and  the  waggons  were  col- 
lected in  laager  close  by.  At  daybreak  on  the  7  th 
of  February  the  Klaffir  scouts  were  seen  on  the 
hills  in  front,  when  a  drenching  rain  began  to  fall 
that  wetted  every  one  through. 

At  six  a.m.  the  Light  Horse,  under  Carrington,  a 
few  Police,  and  one  company  of  the  24th,  under 
Captain  Rainsforth,  were  sent  out  to  draw  on  the 
enemy,  which  they  did  with  success,  for  as  they 
pretended  to  fall  back,  Kreli  with  his  Galekas 
advanced  from  the  south,  and  Sandilli  with  his 
Gaikas  from  the  north-west,  all  exulting  on  seeing 
the  advanced  party  fall  back,  though  firing.  They 
were  above  4,000  strong,  and  came  furiously 
towards  Quintana,  some  in  columns  and  some 
skirmishing,  across  the  open  green  veldt,  ignorant 
of  the  force  that  was  concealed  in  the  shelter 

When  they  were  within  500  yards,  the  troops  rose 
and  opened  a  heavy  fire  on  the  astonished  Kaffirs ; 
the  rocket-tube  commenced  at  the  same  moment, 
and  the  field-pieces  with  their  terrible  case-shot. 
Yet  they  withstood  and  returned  this  fire  for  about 
twenty  minutes. 

They  had  tolerable  shelter  in  rear  of  the  trees 
and  bushes,  and  a  heavy  mist  that  came  on  com- 
pletely obscured  their  movements  for  a  time ; 
but  when  it  fortunately  lifted,  in  about  half  an 
hour,  it  was  found  that  they  had  crept  to  within 
150  yards  of  the  trenches  ! 

A  few  more  rounds  of  case-shot  from  the 
7-pounders,  with  the  close  file-firing  from  the  Mar- 
tini-Henrys, made  them  turn  and  fly,  pursued  by 
the  fleet-footed  Fingoes  and  Carrington  *s  troopers 
on  the  spur,  with  bridles  loose,  Carrington  himself 
leading  the  way,  revolver  in  hand,  some  200  yards 
ahead  of  the  pursuers. 

Robinson's  detachment  now  came  up  and  joined 

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in  the  chase,  and  his  field-piece  did  effective  service. 
The  enemy  had  300  killed  Round  the  camp  the 
dead  and  wounded  lay  thick,  and  the  latter  were 
soon  put  out  of  pain  by  the  Fingoes  in  their  usual 

Our  casualties  only  amounted  to  nine  among  the 

peaceable  guise,  and  purchase  stores ;  they  follow 
the  army  with  both  food  and  ammunition.  It  is 
thus  unavoidable  that  they  should  be  occasionally 
killed  On  one  occasion  a  woman  came  forward 
leading  a  band  of  warriors.  She  had  wisps  of 
straw  in  her  ears — a  charm  which  she  believed 

KING  William's  town,  from  near  the  aqueduct. 

Fingoes,    two    of    Carrington's   Horse  wounded, 
one  Police  trooper  wounded,  and  three  horses. 

"  From  this  defeat  the  Gaikas  and  Galekas  never 
recovered,"  wrote  the  general  "  They  never  again 
showed  themselves  in  bodies  in  the  field,  but  only 
haunted  the  bushes  and  kloofs  in  small  bands, 
whence  it  was  necessary  to  hunt  them  out  like 
animals.  Several  painful  sights  were  often  seen  on 
these  occasions.  Women  with  infants  were  shot, 
and  found  dead  or  dying.  But  in  these  wars  the 
women  take  a  considerable  part;  they  form  the 
KafSr  commissariat;  they  venture  into  towns  in 

rendered  not  only  her,  but  her  party,  invulnerable. 
In  ignorance  of  her  sex,  a  private  took  aim  at  her, 
and  shot  her  dead,  upon  which  the  natives  ran 

On  the  day  of  the  victory  at  Quintana,  another 
was  gained  elsewhere. 

A  certain  Umfanta,  brother  of  Gongalizwe,  chief 
of  the  Tambookies,  had  joined  the  disaffected,  and 
the  whole  country  up  to  the  North  Aliwal  Border 
was  in  a  state  of  warlike  agitation  ;  while  Gon- 
gabele,  with  the  revolted  Tembus,  had  taken  post 
on  strong  ground  at  the  confluence  of  the  Black 

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Black  and  White  KeL] 







Digitized  by 




[Pcric  Forest 

and  White  Kei,  which  the  Kaffirs  had  been  able  to 
hold  in  the  last  war,  despite  the  gallant  attacks  we 
made  upon  it 

Commandant  Griffiths  was  despatched  against 
him,  at  the  head  of  1,200  men. 

He  advanced  in  four  small  divisions  from  Staal- 
klip  upon  the  post  of  Gongabele,  through  the  most 
difficult  country  ever  yet  traversed  by  British  troops, 
and,  attacking  the  rebels,  routed  them  in  every 
direction.  Many  were  slain,  among  them  a  brother 
of  Gongabele,  fighting  bravely.  Griffiths'  force 
had  only  five  casualties,  and  he  captured  about 
3,000  head  of  cattle  and  5,000  sheep. 

Soon  after  the  affair  of  Quintana,  the  90th  Perth- 
shire Light  Infantry,  with  a  field  battery,  arrived 
from  Britain,  a  welcome  addition  to  our  slender 
forces.  Tini  Makomo,  a  Kaffir  chief,  had  been 
allowed  to  settle  in  that  important  and  dangerous 

position,  the  Water  Kloof,  and  had  to  be  driven  out 
Many  petty  confficts,  all  more  or  less  destruc- 
tive of  human  life,  ensued  in  various  quarters, 
though  the  imperial  forces  had  been  withdrawn 
from  Transkei,  and  to  the  Frontier  Police  had  been 
assigned  the  chief  duty  of  patrolling  the  land  of 
the  Galekas,  who  were  thoroughly  broken  up,  and 
many  had  fled  to  the  territories  of  the  Pondos, 
Pondomise,  and  other  tribes. 

Kreli  was  never  captured ;  but  after  a  long  period 
of  wandering  from  place  to  place,  surrendered  him- 
self to  the  Cape  authorities,  and  was  permitted  to 
settle  in  the  vicinity  of  his  old  kraal,  where,  says 
a  writer  in  1881,  "he  will  train  up  the  young  men 
of  his  tribe  to  make  war  upon  the  white  man 
whenever  they  may  be  strong  enough  as  a  tribe, 
or  combine  with  other  tribes  for  the  same  pur- 


^    i 



In  the  foregoing  pages  we  have  shown,  by  the 
small  losses  on  our  side  and  the  enormous  casualties, 
comparatively,  on  the  other,  the  futility  of  naked 
savages,  armed  with  old  muzzle-loader  muskets, 
contending  with  trained  troops,  furnished  with 
deadly  weapons  of  precision,  killing  at  vast  dis- 
tances— futile,  at  least,  till  our  short-service  men 
or  youthful  soldiers  had  to  contend  with  men  of 
dauntless  courage  and  splendid  physique,  the  Zulus 
and  Boers. 

Early  in  February,  1878,  it  became  known  that 
Sandilli,  with  a  great  number  of  Gaikas,  had  as- 
sembled in  the  Perie  Bush,  on  the  Amatola  Moun- 
tains, a  vast  forest,  commencing  twelve  miles  north 
of  King  William's  Town,  and  also  that  there  was  a 
good  deal  of  fighting  going  on  near  Fort  Beaufort, 
held  by  a  detachment  of  H.M.  troops,  200  strong. 

Streatfield  records  that,  with  his  Fingo  levy, 
raised  at  Keiskamma  Hoek,  he  was  ordered  to 
march  from  Komgha  to  King  William's  Town  on 
the  14th  of  the  month.  Then  he  was  sent  for  by 
General  Thesiger,  who  despatched  him,  with  his 
party,  to  the  Raboula  River  post,  twenty  miles 
north  of  the  town,  with  a  waggon  of  stores  for 
Lonsdale's  Fingoes,  stationed  at  that  village,  which 
is  situated  amid  magnificent  scenery,  overlooked 
by  the  Buffalo  range  of  wooded  mountains,  5,000 
feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea     "Lovely  as  the 

scenery  was,"  he  states,  "it  certainly  looked  a 
most  awful  country  in  which  to  hunt  Kaffirs ;  and 
so,  indeed,  it  proved  Well  did  the  Fingo  leaders 
know  the  Buffalo  Range  before  the  next  three 
months  passed  by." 

On  the  J  8th  an  attack  was  to  be  made  upon  the 
mountains  and  the  Perie  Forest,  instructions  for 
which  were  given  by  Colonel — afterwards  Sir 
Evelyn — Wood,  then  quartered  at  Keiskamma 
Hoek.  "About  200  of  Lonsdale's  Fingoes  had 
come  the  day  before  to  reinforce  me  for  the 
attack,"  says  Streatfield  "My  orders  were  to 
ascend  the  mountains  with  my  corps,  and  when  at 
the  top,  get  touch  of  Brabant's  colunm  on  my  right 
and  Colonel  Wood's  on  my  left,  and  then  to 
advance  in  a  south-easterly  direction,  fighting  our 
way  right  through  to  the  bottom  of  the  range  on 
the  south  side.  Colonel  Wood's  and  Brabant's 
columns  had  orders  to  ascend  the  mountains  by 
passes  on  my  right  and  left  respectively." 

The  troops  toiled  up  the  steep  slopes,  marching 
in  the  dark,  the  naked  feet  of  the  native  levies 
making  scarcely  any  sound  Every  here  and  there 
dark  tufts  of  bush — the  very  places  for  Kaffir 
ambushes — were  passed  By  daybreak  the  summit 
was  reached,  and  the  sound  of  firing  announced 
that  Brabant's  column  was  engaged  with  the  enemy, 
who  proved  to  be  in  considerable  force. 

Digitized  by 


Perie  Forest  J 

SCOURI^fG  TriE  fiustt. 


On  an  elevation  some  800  feet  above  Streat- 
field's  column,  the  bayonets  of  Colonel  Wood 
were  seen  glistening.  In  front  the  ground  fell 
away  for  two  or  three  miles  with  a  steep  descent, 
free  from  bush,  terminating  in  two  open  plateaus, 
divided  by  a  deep  kloof,  beyond  which  spread  im- 
penetrable jungle.  Ravines  were  around  the  troops 
on  every  side,  and  in  all  of  them  were  caves,  rocks, 
and  krantzes  innumerable,  forming  the  strongholds 
of  the  Kaffirs;  for  old  Sandilli  had  chosen  the 
ground  on  which  to  keep  his  enemies  at  bay. 

Streatfield  pushed  on  to  the  assistance  of  Bra- 
bant "  The  firing  had  been  for  some  time,  and 
still  was  very  heavy,  and  on  our  way  down  we  met 
many  wounded  men  being  carried  out  of  action. 
We  soon  reached  the  middle  of  the  fighting,  and 
got  into  the  bush  on  the  south  side  of  the  plateau, 
from  which  the  firing  seemed  heaviest" 

By  bayonet  and  bullet  the  Kaffirs  were  ferreted 
out  of  the  caves,  and  from  behind  rocks  and  trees, 
till  they  were  fairly  driven  with  loss,  and  with  their 
fire  completely  silenced,  into  the  depths  of  the 
forest  Brabant's  casualties  were  eleven  men  hit 
and  thirteen  horses  killed. 

As  the  attack  on  him  had  been  premature. 
Wood's  column  did  not  get  into  action.  He  was 
joined  by  Streatfield  on  the  upper  ridges,  and  then 
the  troops  bivouacked  for  the  night,  a  cold  and 
misty  one,  with  only  their  blankets,  on  mountains 
5,000  feet  high. 

Next  day  all  the  plateaus,  and  even  the  bush, 
were  scoured,  especially  with  shells  and  rockets. 
"  It  was  a  beautiful  sight,"  we  are  told,  "  to  see 
amid  those  mighty  mountain  ranges  the  shells 
flying  through  the  air,  and  then  bursting  far  away 
over  the  tops  of  the  trees ;  and  it  was  glorious  to 
hear  the  echoes  thrown  backwards  and  forwards 
between  the  beetling  crags  that  frowned  over  the 
grand  old  forest  below.  Every  now  and  then  a 
rocket  went  roaring  past,  leaving  a  thin  tram  of 
smoke  in  its  wake  far  behind,  and  buried  itself  in 
the  deep  jungle.  It  was,  indeed,  a  rare  and 
wonderful  scene ;  seldom  would  it  fall  to  the  lot  of 
any  one  to  witness  such  an  effect,  combined  with 
the  almost  unrivalled  grandeur  and  beauty  of  the 
surrounding  scenery." 

This  process  greatly  scared  the  Kaffirs,  but  it  is 
supi)osed  that  few  were  killed  by  it  on  this  occasion, 
for  forty-nine  out  of  fifty  of  those  dangerous 
missiles  were  fired  at  haphazard  into  the  thou- 
sands upon  thousands  of  acres  of  dense  primeval 

Sandilli's  horse — a  well-known  white  one — ^was 
said  to  be  captured  that  day. 

An  officer  named  Bradshaw,  captain  of  a  Fingo 

levy,  was  shot  through  the  brain,  and  buried  soon 
after  in  his  blanket  He  was  killed  by  a  secret 
shot  after  the  day's  work  was  over,  being  seen 
lingering  in  the  open  thoughtlessly. 

Many  were  slain  thus  in  the  Kaffir  wars,  by 
carelessly  loitering  near  a  tuft  of  bush  in  which 
an  enemy  lurked  unseen. 

Though  a  few  random  shots  were  fired  by  the 
Gaikas  in  the  night  at  long  ranges,  they  made  no 
attack ;  yet  they  were  swarming  in  the  forest  around 
the  position,  which  was  held  by  500  European 
troops  and  1,000  men  of  the  native  levies.  The 
officers  of  the  latter  force  could  not  restrain  their 
wild  and  unruly  men  from  maintaining  a  heavy  and 
useless  fire  in  every  direction,  as  long  as  the  dark- 
ness or  their  ammunition  lasted.  Thus  a  Hot- 
tentot corps,  armed  with  Sniders,  who  at  sunset 
had  thirty  rounds  per  man  in  their  pouches,  had 
not  a  single  round  among  them  when  day  broke. 

In  this  afiair  of  the  Perie  Forest  the  Kaffirs  were 
reported  to  be  in  three  divisions :  Matanzima  with 
the  right  wing,  Edmund  Sandilli  with  the  left,  and 
Sandilli,  with  Gongabele,  commanding  the  centre. 

Meanwhile,  operations  against  the  native  in- 
surgents were  in  progress  elsewhere. 

Colonel  Henry  Wellington  Palmer,  of  the  90th 
Regiment,  who  had  served  with  the  74th  High- 
landers throughout  the  Kaffir  war  of  185 1-3,  and 
knew  his  work  well,  with  1,200  men  and  four 
7-pounders  under  his  command,  occupied  Fort 
Relief  and  the  Scholm  Kloof,  menacing  Tini 
Macomo  early  in  March. 

The  forces  employed  consisted  of  four  companies 
of  the  90th,  a  party  of  Artillery,  Volunteers,  and 
Fingoes.  On  entering  the  Blinkwater  Valley  they 
were  fired  upon,  and  in  the  skirmish  that  ensued 
some  of  the  enemy  were  killed  and  wounded,  and 
forty-seven  taken  prisoners,  with  300  head  of  fine 
cattle.  The  troops  then  moved  into  the  woody 
Water  Kloof,  but  owing  to  the  torrents  of  rain 
which  fell  at  the  time  and  the  rugged  nature  of  the 
country,  operations  were  greatly  retarded ;  but 
eventually  900  head  of  cattle  were  captured,  fifty 
men  made  piisoners,  and  twenty  shot  dead,  and  by 
the  19th  the  Water  Kloof  was  cleared. 

General  Thesiger,  having  concentrated  the  Im- 
perial and  Colonial  troops  around  the  Perie  Forest, 
had  every  outlet  guarded,  and  the  story  of -the  war- 
fare in  this  quarter  is  simply  that  the  Gaikas, 
finding  their  lines  of  retreat  cut  off,  attacked  our 
forces  furiously,  in  almost  every  instance  with  over- 
whelming numbers,  forcing  us  to  retire  and  take 
up  fresh  positions.  "  They  have  never  been  able 
to  leave  the  bush,"  says  a  despatch  of  March  the 
26th,   "  and  every  day  they  are  in  it  adds  to 

Digitized  by 




[Inufaa  lododo. 

the  impossibility  of  their  ever  coming  out  of  it 

Yet  a  few  days  before  that  date,  Sandilli  was 
reported  to  have  sent  a  messenger  to  the  general, . 
asking  upon  what  terms  he  would  be  permitted  to 
surrender,  and  was  informed  that   no  conditions 
whatever  would  be  made  with  him. 

Captain  Donovan  and  Lieutenant  Ward,  two 
very  gallant  officers  of  the  Diamond  Fields  Horse, 
fell  into  an  ambuscade  when  out  reconnoitring  and 
were  slain ;  while  a  number  of  officers  and  men 
were  also  killed  by  lightning,  «r  accidentally  shot  by 
their  native  comrades,  which  added  to  our  casual- 
ties in  this  desultory  strife.  Its  perils  seemed  to 
increase  when  tidings  came  that,  urged  on  by 
Cetewayo,  King  of  the  Zulus,  the  Kaffirs,  under  the 
formidable  Sekukuni,  had  made  two  raids  into  the 
Transvaal — one  at  Orighstadt  and  the  other  in  the 
Waterfall  Valley,  burning  the  farmhouses,  killing 
their  white  occupants,  and  carrying  off  the  cattle — 
and  that  the  fugitives  were  flying  on  every  side  to 
the  bush,  where  they  hid  by  day,  till,  by  nightfall, 
they  could  seek  places  of  safety. 

On  the  27th  of  April,  1878,  fresh  operations  were 
inaugurated  at  the  Buffalo  Range.  Colonel  Evelyn 
Wood  commenced  his  march  by  the  light  of  a 
waning  moon  with  a  party  of  the  Frontier  Police,  a 
detachment  from  the  2nd  battalion  of  the  24th 
Foot,  Streatfield*s  and  Lonsdale's  Fingoes,  and  a 
body  of  Volunteers. 

After  waiting  some  time  for  the  arrival  of  1,000 
Fingoes  from  the  other  side  of  the  Kei  River,  100 
miles  distant,  Colonel  Wood  made  a  combined 
attack  upon  the  insurgents  at  two  places,  called 
Tutaba  and  Kandoda  (or  Intaba  Indodo),  at  day- 
break on  the  30th  of  April. 

"  Lonsdale,  with  Major  Hackett  and  a  company 
of  the  90th,  were  in  support  upon  my  right,"  says 
Streatfield,  •*  and  I,  with  Captain  Laye  and  another 
company  (of  the  90th),  had  the  Tutu  Bush  to  scour, 
beating,  as  on  former  occasions,  towards  the 
Intaba  Indodo.  On  my  left  was  another  corps  of 
Fingoes,  who  had  to  beat  up  the  Zanyockwe  Valley 
and  the  bush  on  the  left  of  it  Wood,  with  more 
of  the  90th,  a  gun  under  Captain  Smith,  R.A,  and 
a  corps  of  Hottentots,  were  advancing  up  a  ridge 
on  Lonsdale's  right  From  the  side  of  the  Intaba 
Indodo  were  the  2nd  battilion  of  the  24th  and 
Frontier  Light  Horse,  under  Major  Buller,  a  corps 
of  loyal  Kaffirs  (Siwannies),  and  some  other  Volun- 
teers, who  advanced  towards  us.** 

The  Intaba  Indodo  (which  means  the  Mountain 
of  the  Man)  rises  some  2,000  feet  above  a  plain 
very  abruptly  amid  a  wild  and  hilly  country.  Every 
feature  of  nature  here— rock,  herb,  and  tree — is  on 

an  enormous  scale,  and  nothing  can  exceed  the 
grandeur  of  the  scenery  or  the  leafy  density  of  the 
tropical  bush. 

Sunrise  was  beginning  to  gild  the  summit  of 
the  great  mountain  peak  when  operations  com- 
menced by  Wood's  column  coming  to  close 
quarters  with  the  enemy,  in  strong  force  upon  the 
Makabele  Ridge,  while  traversing  a  path  through 
very  thick  bush.  For  some  time  he  was  stoutly 
opposed ;  and  here  fell  Lieutenant  Saltmarshe,  of 
the  90th,  who  was  shot  dead  just  after  assuming 
command  of  the  advanced  guard,  after  Captain 
Stephens,  of  the  same  regiment,  had  been  borne  to 
the  rear  with  a  bullet  through  his  jaw. 

Several  privates  of  the  90th  were  killed  and 
wounded ;  but  the  enemy  were  soon  thrown  into 
utter  confusion  by  a  searching  and  trenchant  fire  at 
close  range,  when  they  fell  back,  carrying  off  their 
wounded,  but  leaving  126  dead  behind  them. 
Their  punishment  would  have  been  greater,  but 
about  400  yelling  and  frantic  women  threw  them- 
selves in  a  mass  between  the  Kaffirs  and  our  fire, 
thus  enabling  them  to  escape  in  that  quarter. 

All  the  forces  from  both  sides  of  the  mountain 
advanced  steadily  during  the  day,  meeting  with 
resistance  more  or  less  well  sustained  at  different 
points,  by  Kaffirs  lurking  in  the  bush  ;  but  by  four 
in  the  afternoon  every  kloof  and  ravine  had  been 
successfully  scoured,  and  all  the  enemy's  cattle  and 
horses  were  taken. 

Some  fighting  ensued  in  the  Zanyockwe  Valley, 
where  twenty-one  Kaffirs  were  killed,  and  100 
women  and  children  subsequently  gave  themselves 
up  to  the  British. 

"  I  went  to  the  funeral  of  the  poor  fellows  of  the 
90th  who  had  been  killed  the  day  before,"  says 
Streatfield.  "  The  burial  of  those  killed  in  action 
is  always  a  sad  and  solemn  sight ;  and  I  could  not 
help  thinking,  when  they  were  Englishmen,  of  those 
who  loved  them  in  their  own  dear  land,  and  who 
would  soon  be  mourning  for  the  relatives  who  lie 
buried  so  far  away  in  the  shadow  of  the  South 
African  mountains." 

The  body  of  Lieutenant  Arthur  Saltmarshe,  who 
was  quite  a  youth,  was  conveyed  to  King  William's 
Town,  and  interred  in  the  cemetery  there  with  all 
military  honours. 

On  Wednesday,  the  8th  of  May,  a  third  engage- 
ment took  place  in  the  Perie  Forest,  and  it  proved 
to  be  the  last  one  there. 

After  moving  in  the  dark,  the  troops,  as  soon  as 
there  was  light  enough,  began  to  penetrate  slowly 
and  quietly  into  the  bush  path.  A  few  Fingoes  led 
the  way ;  then  came  two  companies  of  the  2nd 
battalion  of  ihe  24th  ;  then  the  rest  of  the  Fingoes, 

Digitized  by 


P^e  Forest] 



the  Frontier  Light  Horse  of  Carrington,  and  some 
other  Volunteers. 

Streatfield's  Fingoes  were  attached  to  the  corps 
of  Major  Buller,  CB.,  of  the  6oth  Rifles,  an  officer 
who  had  served  with  the  2nd  battalion  of  his 
regiment  throughout  the  Chinese  campaign  of 
i860,  with  the  Red  River  Expedition  of  1870,  and 
was  now  at  the  Cape  on  particular  service.  **  He 
was  a  splendid  worker,  and  never  seemed  to  tire, 
however  great  the  amount  of  hard  work,  and  where- 
ever  the  stiffest  amount  of  work  was,  he  was  sure  to 
be  found  In  action,  if  you  could  ascertain  for 
certain  where  most  bullets  were  flying,  you  would 
be  pretty  safe  in  venturing  your  last  dollar  that 
Buller  would  be  in  the  middle  of  it"  • 

When  the  bush  path  reached  a  plateau,  Streat- 
field's  Fingoes  were  extended  in  the  jungle  to  pick 
off  the  Kaffirs  as  they  took  to  cover,  while  the  rest 
of  the  column  pushed  quickly  forward  into  open 
ground  ;  but  few  of  the  enemy  were  to  be  seen,  as 
they  had  obtained  timely  warning  of  the  expe- 
dition. His  skirmishers  kept  working  to  the  front, 
when  Lonsdale,  with  his  Fingoes,  reached  the 
plateau  through  the  bush  from  the  Buflalo  heights, 
and  some  companies  of  the  Perthshire  Light 
Infentry  now  came  upon  the  ground. 

Carrington's  Horse  and  the  two  companies  of  the 
24th  were  still  pressing  on,  when  a  hot  fire  was 
poured  upon  them  by  a  number  of  Kaffirs,  who 
had  perched  themselves  securely  among  some  steep 
rocks  at  the  edge  of  the  bush,  and  from  this  natural 
fortress  their  fire  came  spurting  out  in  incessant  white 
pufls,  causing  many  serious  casualties.  Captain 
McNaughton,  of  Carrington's  Horse,  was  shot  dead 
through  the  chest ;  Corporal  Macabe  and  others  of 
the  same  corps  were  killed  Captain  Whalley  fell 
wounded,  and  thirteen  Fingoes  were  killed,  and 
some  more  of  other  corps ;  and  this  position  re- 
mained untaken  till  Majors  Buller  and  Lonsdale 
came  up  with  a  few  white  Volunteers  and  Fingoes. 

Sword  in  hand,  and  in  a  dashing  manner,  they 
rushed  right  under  cover  of  the  precipitous  rocks, 
climbed  up  close  to  the  Kaffirs,  shot  many  of  them 
down,  and  put  the  rest  to  flight  through  the 
krantze.  Both  Buller  and  Lonsdale  had  several 
narrow  escapes. 

Fighting  of  this  kind  went  on  all  day  long 
around  the  various  plateaus  in  the  mountain 
forest,  and  the  contest  was  resumed  on  the  fol- 
lowing day.  Amid  it,  Captain  Godwin  Austen,  of 
the  24th  (and  formerly  of  the  89th),  had  a  singular 
escape.  He  was  descending  some  rocks  at  the 
head  of  his  men,  when  a  rifle  behind  him  exploded 

•  Streatfidd's  "A  Ten  Months*  Campaign." 

The  bullet  traversed  his  back,  ripping  his  tunic  to 
pieces,  breaking  his  flask  to  shivers,  and  giving  him 
an  ugly  wound,  for  which  he  had  to  retire  to 
King  William's  Town.  The  Kafiirs,  who  on  that 
day  numbered  about  600,  were  completely  driven 
back,  with  a  loss  of  only  seven  Fingoes. 

By  the  21st  of  May  the  enemy  was  breaking  up 
more  than  ever.  Sandilli  and  Edmund  SandilU 
again  sued  the  Government  for  peace,  but  an  un- 
conditional surrender  was  demanded 

Meanwhile,  perilous  work  was  going  on  elsewhere 
in  Griqualand  West,  or  the  Diamond  Fields,  a  dis- 
trict having  an  area  of  15,500  square  miles,  with  a 
permanent  population  of  1,000  whites,  4,000  blacks 
and  a  fluctuating  population  of  40,000  diggers ;  but 
though  the  strife  there  was  recent,  the  accounts  of 
it  are  somewhat  meagre. 

The  Griquas  are  a  tribe  of  mixed  race,  descended 
from  the  Dutch  colonists  and  the  aboriginal  Hot- 
tentots. Adam  Kok  made  an  exodus  with  his 
mixed  people  from  this  territory  in  1861  into  a 
country  north  of  Kaffiraria,  which,  having  been 
visited  by  the  Zulus,  obtained  the  significant  title 
of  No  Man's  Land  It  is  called  Griqualand  West, 
and  there  his  people  now  reside. 

On  the  nth  of  June  the  stronghold  of  the 
Griqua  revolters  in  Victoria  West  was  attacked  by 
Inspector  Nisbett,  of  the  Armed  Police,  with  113 
mounted  men  and  the  Victoria  Volunteers,  covered 
by  a  fire  fi-om  his  7-pounders,  and  the  fort  was 
carried  after  a  six  hours'  contest  The  rebels,  800 
strong,  retreated  with  the  greatest  precipitation 
when  they  did  give  way.  They  tossed  aside  their 
muskets,  and  many  flung  themselves  over  precipices, 
at  the  foot  of  which  their  mangled  bodies  were  found. 
Two  thousand  sheep  and  many  horses,  cattle,  and 
waggons  were  captured,  and  Nisbett  had  only  three 
men  wounded,  according  to  his  report  fi-om  Fort 
Lanyon — so  named  from  the  Lieutenant-Governor 
of  Griqualand  West,  Colonel  W.  Owen  Lanyon,  of 
the  2nd  West  India  Regiment. 

On  the  17th  of  June,  1878,  there  was  a  sharp 
skirmish  among  the  Magnet  Hills.  The  Griqua 
rebels  were  driven  out  of  their  entrenchments,  but 
took  refuge  in  almost  inaccessible  caves.  Being 
exposed  to  a  galling  fire  from  these — a  fire  which 
could  not  be  effectually  returned — our  troops  were 
obliged  to  retreat,  leaving  fifteen  men  on  the 
ground  behind  them. 

Thirty  Volunteers,  on  the  6th  of  July,  attacked 
and  completely  routed  a  body  of  natives  near 
Kuruman,  with  a  loss  only  of  five  killed  and  five 
wounded ;  but  Colonel  Lanyon,  in  an  official  des- 
patch, declared  that  this  movement  was  undertaken 
against  his  express  wish. 

Digitized  by 





Two  affairs  were  fought  soon  after,  in  both  of 
which  our  troops  were  successful.  The  first  attack 
was  made  by  Colonel  Warren,  in  the  rocky  Wittins 
Kloof,  on  the  9th,  in  which  the  rebels  were  re- 
pulsed, and  1,050  cattle  and  sheep  taken  ;  and  the 
second  was  at  Koegas,  on  the  15th,  when  thirteen 
of  the  enemy  were  killed,  a  vast  quantity  of  cattle 
captured,  and  our  only  casualty  was  one  private 
wounded — the  result  of  the  arms  of  precision  being 
all  on  one  side.     On  the  20th  they  were  defeated 

intensely  cold  that  in  the  morning  my  blanket  was 
frozen  right  through.  I  have  ridden  over  a  thousand 
miles,  and  had  eight  engagements  with  the  enemy, 
so  I  do  not  think  I  have  been  lazy.  Our  Volun- 
teers are  a  splendid  lot  of  fellows,  and  have  done 
their  work  well.  Every  position  the  enemy  held 
was  strong,  and  always  on  a  mountain,  so  the  fact 
of  our  being  so  successful  says  much  for  the  pluck 
of  *  our  boys.'  I  do  not  suppose  there  has  ever 
been  an  instance  before  when  so  formidable  and 


again,  with  the  loss  of  fifty  killed  and  2,600  cattle 
and  sheep  taken.  Our  loss  was  one  killed  and  six 

The  men  our  troops  had  to  encounter  had  all 
been  hunters  from  their  youth,  were  tolerably  well 
armed,  and  from  the  positions  they  took  and 
fortified,  evinced  a  better  knowledge  of  war  than 
the  naked  savages  we  had  to  meet  elsewhere ;  but 
by  the  courage  and  energy  of  the  Volunteers  alone 
the  insurrection  was  quelled. 

An  officer  commanding  one  of  those  regiments 
writes  thus,  under  date  July  8th,  in  one  of  his 
letters :— "  On  Wednesday  I  returned  here,  after 
being  away  ten  weeks,  and  I  must  say  I  was  glad 
to  get  back  to  a  roof  and  a  bed  once  more.  All 
this  time  I  have  never  slept  in  a  house  or  with  my 
clothes  off,  and  a  rifle  has  shared  my  couch — /.^., 
the  ground — alongside  of  me.     The  weather  was  so 

widespread  a  rebellion  was  put  down  wholly  by 
Volunteers ;  and  bearing  in  mind  that  it  is  so  young 
a  colony  and  so  small  a  population,  it  is  highly 
creditable  to  the  people.  I  have  had  700  men  in 
the  field,  and  I  have  not  had  a  single  trained 
officer  to  help  me.  I  have  had  to  raise,  equip, 
drill,  and  feed  them;  and  this  latter  work  is  no 
easy  matter  in  a  country  where  even  water  is  scarce, 
and  every  requisite  has  to  be  carried  from  this  place. 
In  some  instances  we  have  been  200  miles  from  the 
source  of  supply,  and  our  only  means  of  transport 
were  cattle  waggons.  It  has  been  most  anxious 
work,  for  the  livcS  of  the  men  were  valuable,  all 
being  men  of  good  means,  with  people  dependent 
on  them.  With  Volunteers  one  must  lead,  so  I  have 
always  had  a  hot  time  of  it,  for  the  enemy,  knowing 
me,  always  gave  me  a  shower.  I  have  had  some 
wonderful  escapes,  but  was  only  hit  once,  and  then 

Digitized  by 







Digitized  by 





by  a  stone  splinter  on  my  cartridge-belt  It  dented 
a  cartridge,  but  that  was  alL  I  thought  I  was  at 
last  going  to  have  some  quiet  here,  to  carry  out  my 
civil  duties,  but,  alas !  my  hopes  were  dashed,  for 
yesterday  I  received  a  despatch  to  say  that  a  com- 
mandant had  crossed  the  border  with  a  weak  force, 
and  got  the  worst  of  it  I  must  now  start  on 
another  long  ride  of  120  miles  to  relieve  him,  as  he 
lies  dangerously  wounded  and  surrounded  His 
act  was  reckless,  and  in  direct  disobedience,  for 
his  sole  duty  was  to  protect  the  district  I  expect 
we  shall  have  some  hard  knocks.  I  have  not  got 
many  men  to  take  with  me,  the  bulk  of  *  our  boys' 
being  in  the  field  with  the  officer  whom  I  left  to 
finish  the  campaign.  Some  evil-disposed  people 
have  got  up  a  foolish  charge  of  cruelty  against  our 
men,  because  a  foolish  bragging  boy  wrote  to  a 
more  foolish  father  that  we  gave  no  quarter  nor 
asked  for  any.  I  need  hardly  say  that  the  charge 
is  wholly  false,  for  never  has  a  war  been  conducted 
in  a  more  humane  manner.  Being  always  in  the 
firont  myself,  I  am  able  to  speak  with  certainty  on 
this  point ;  and  all  my  orders  have  been  very  strict 
regarding  mercy.  Our  fellows  have  behaved  so 
splendidly  that  a  charge  of  this  kind  is  doubly  un- 
just    I  would  go  anywhere  with  my  mea" 

In  the  other  quarter  of  Kaffraria  a  rumour  had 
been  floating  since  the  beginning  of  June  that  old 
Sandilli  had  been  killed,  but  until  the  7th  of  the 
month  it  was  not  known  with  certainty.  On  the 
following  day,  however,  his  body  was  brought  into 
the  Volunteer  camp  at  Isidengi,  north-eastward  of 
the  Perie  Forest,  in  which  he  had  lurked  so  long. 

"How  it  was  the  old  man  met  his  death  will 
never  be  known  for  certain,"  says  the  author  of  "  A 
Ten  Months'  Campaign;"  "but  there  is  not  the 
least  doubt  that  Lonsdale's  Fingoes  were  the  men 
who  rid  us  of  our  troublesome  enemy,  and  thereby 
put  a  decbive  end  to  the  war,  for  after  his  death 

there  was  scarcely  any  fighting  whatever,  and  every- 
thing in  the  country  rapidly  assumed  the  usual 
peaceful  appearance.  It  was  not  known  that  he 
was  killed  till  a  few  days  after  the  event  happened, 
and  the  fact  was  then  reported  by  a  Kaffir  to  a 
Volunteer  officer,  and  the  man  added  that  he  could 
take  him  to  where  the  body  could  be  found.  This 
he  did,  and  all  that  remained  of  this  remarkably 
rebellious  old  individual  was  carried  in  triumph  on 
a  horse  to  Isidengi" 

He  was  a  fine-looking  old  man,  with  an  almost 
snow-white  beard,  but  the  hair  on  his  head  still 
dark,  though  in  his  seventieth  year.  Wild  animals 
had  devoured  a  portion  of  his  body.  He  was 
buried  on  the  morning  of  the  9th,  in  presence  of 
all  the  Volunteers  and  a  company  of  the  24th, 
under  Major  Dunbar,  who  had  served  with  the 
34th  in  the  Crimean  and  Indian  campaigns. 

Before  he  was  interred  the  Fingoes  filed  past  the 
body,  and  exultingly  shook  their  assegais  in  the 
dead  warrior's  face.  He  was  then  wrapped  in  an 
old  piece  of  sail-cloth  and  buried  by  them.  The 
day  was  a  lovely  one,  and  everything  around 
looked  bright  and  beautiful  The  birds  were  sing- 
ing in  the  thorn-wood  trees,  and  the  white  tents 
and  scarlet  uniforms  looked  bright  in  the  cloudless 
sunshine  as  his  grave  was  covered  in — the  quiet 
resting-place  of  the  warlike  Sandilli,  the  last  chief 
of  the  Gaikas. 

On  the  28th  of  June  an  amnesty  was  proclaimed 
for  all,  his  sons  excepted;  and  Edmund  Sandilli,  with 
Mantinzini  and  seven  councillors,  was  captured 
on  the  30th  by  Mr.  Levy,  the  Government  agent, 
with  the  emigrant  Tambookies.  This  was  supposed 
to  be  the  last  scene  in  the  desultory  Frontier  War, 
and  the  Volunteers  wefe  disbanded  or  sent  to  the 
Transvaal  The  Gaikas  were  settled  in  new  loca- 
tions beyond  the  river  Kei,  and  formally  handed 
over  to  the  care  of  Captain  Bljrthe. 



At  the  period  to  which  we  have  been  referring 
the  Imperial  and  Colonial  troops  in  the  Cape 
Colony  were  as  follows : — 

The  2nd  battalion  of  the  3rd  Kentish  Buffs ;  the 
I  St  battalion  of  the  13th  Somersetshire  Light  In- 
fantry; the  ist  battalion  24th  Warwickshire,  with 
the  staff  and  some  artillery. 

The  local  forces  consisted  of  Prince  Alfred's 

Volunteer  Guard,  four  companies;  the  Cape 
Volunteer  Cavalry  the  Cape  Volunteer  Artillery, 
and  Duke  of  Edinburgh's  Volunteer  Rifles;  the 
Kaffrarian  Volunteers;  the  Queenstown,  North 
Aliwal,  Grahamstown,  Wodehouse,  and  Tarkastad 
Volunteers,  some  corps  consisting  of  only  one 
company  each.  The  Combo  Militia  are  in  the 
West  African  Settlements. 

Digitized  by 


Morosi's  Moantaio.] 



In  Natal  were  the  Natal  Carbineers,  the  Kar- 
kloof  Carbineers,  Victoria,  Durban,  Stanger,  New 
Germany,  Ixopo,  Newcastle,  Maritzburg,  and  Royal 
Durban  and  Alexandra  Mounted  Rifles ;  the  Buf- 
felo  Border  Guard,  the  Mori  Yeomanry,  and  Natal 
Hussars,  all  consisting  of  one  troop  each,  splen- 
did shots  and  hardy  men,  but  having  among  them 
scarcely  one  officer  of  the  line. 

In  1879  the  Government  resolved  to  change  the 
Frontier  Armed  Police  into  the  force  now  known 
as  the  Cape  Mounted  Rifles ;  and  Major  Garrett 
Moore,  of  the  88th,  who  had  served  with  that 
regiment  in  India,  at  the  siege  of  Lucknow  and 
elsewhere,  was  appointed  to  the  command,  for  which 
he  was  well  fitted,  having  long  served  as  adjutant 

This  resolution  was  scarcely  fair  to  men  who 
had  joined  the  corps  to  act  as  police;  never- 
theless, on  the  2Sth  of  July  the  whole  force  was 
made  distinctly  a  cavalry  regiment,  without  their 
wishes  being  consulted.  More  than  two-thirds  of 
the  force  demanded  their  discharges,  which  alarmed 
the  Government,  who  gave  them  to  about  eighty 
of  the  most  clamorous.  Out  of  600  troopers,  250 
were  made  prisoners  for  mutiny,  and  were  kept  so 
long  in  suspense  that  many  contrived  to  desert; 
thus  a  state  of  things  existed  at  King  William's 
Town  that  was  little  known  at  home.  Major 
Moore,  becoming  disgusted  with  these  matters, 
was  succeeded  by  Colonel  Bayley,  through  whose 
exertions  the  dissatisfaction  of  the  men  was  quieted, 
and  the  Cape  Mounted  Rifles  became  what  they 
are  styled — 3.  corps  second  to  none  in  the  Imperial 

To  preserve  coherence  of  narrative,  before  enter- 
ing on  the  battles  and  other  startling  events  which 
were  occurring  collaterally  in  Afghanistan,  we  shall 
record  the  principal  event  of  the  year  1879  in  Cape 
Colony — the  war  in  Basutoland,  and  the  attacks 
on  the  mountain  of  MorosL 

Prior  to  that  event,  in  the  October  of  1878,  there 
had  been  some  fighting  in  the  Transvaal,  where  a 
British  detachment  under  Lieutenant-Colonel  Philip 
Gilbert,  of  the  13th  Regiment,  400  strong,  had 
been  compelled  to  fall  back  before  an  overwhelm- 
ing force  of  Kaflfirs,  who,  encouraged  thereby, 
made  a  night  attack  upon  his  bivouac,  but  were 
driven  back  with  heavy  loss,  while  a  patrol  advanced 
to  within  five  miles  of  the  town  of  Sekukuni,  and 
carried  ofl"  a  large  number  of  cattle. 

In  the  subsequent  November  an  attack  was  made 
on  a  stronghold  belonging  to  one  of  Sekukuni's 
chiefe.  The  British  troops  destroyed  300  houses 
and  a  great  quantity  of  grain,  with  the  loss  of  only 
one  man  killed — a  sergeant  of  the  13th  Regiment 
—and  eleven  men  wounded. 

An  amnesty  had  scarcely  been  proclaimed  among 
the  rebels  in  Griqualand  West,  before  the  troubles 
began  in  Basutoland  —  a  district  which  had  a 
population  of  150,000,  and  was  supposed  to  be 
easy  to  govern.  They  had  been  reduced  to  a 
miserable  state  by  the  wars  of  Chaka  the  Zulu. 
The  battle  of  Berea  was  fought  between  them  and 
the  British  in  1852,  and  peace  was  established.  In 
1868,  after  continued  strife  with  the  Orange  Free 
State,  the  boundaries  were  defined,  and  the  Basutos 
became  a  portion  of  the  Cape  Colony.  An  Act  of 
the  local  Parliament,  in  187 1,  confirmed  this. 

When  the  troubles  referred  to  broke  out,  the 
Government  raised  an  additional  force — a  brigade, 
consisting  of  three  regiments  of  Yeomanry.  The 
following  was  the  cause  of  the  Basuto  troubles  : — 

An  old  chief  nan\ied  Morosi  dwelt  in  the  south- 
west comer  of  Basutoland,  ruling  a  tribe  called 
the  Baphutis.  He  had  a  son  named  Dodo,  and 
several  others. 

The  tract  of  country  he  occupied  had  been 
bestowed  upon  him  by  Moshesh,  chief  of  the 
Basutos,  for  services  in  war,  particularly  against  the 
Orange  Free  State. 

Morosi  had  been  a  famous  warrior  in  past  times, 
and  commanded  the  army  which  had  been  chiefly 
the  means  of  defeating  Sir  George  Cathcart,  when 
he  attacked  the  Basutos  in  1853.  In  old  age  he  was 
now  enjoying  the  reward  of  his  services,  when  he 
became  involved  with  our  Government  through  his 
sons ;  an  event  which  culminated  in  his  own  death, 
the  slaughter  of  one  portion  of  his  people,  and  the 
expulsion  of  the  rest 

At  the  beginning  of  the  year  1879,  ^^  common 
with  the  Basutos,  of  whom  he  and  his  people 
formed  a  part,  he  had  been  living  under  British  pro- 
tection ;  and  the  resident  magistrate  of  his  district 
— Mr.  Austin,  afterwards  killed  in  the  war — lived  at 
a  place  called  Silver  Spruit  One  of  Mr.  Austin's 
duties  was  the  collection  of  a  hut-tax  from  the 
people  at  stated  periods.  Twelve  black  policemen 
were  under  his  orders,  but  there  were  no  European 
troops  nearer  than  Palmetfontein,  twenty-five  miles 

This  hut  or  house  tax,  was  one  which  the  people 
through  their  chiefs  agreed  to  pay  when  their 
country  was  taken  over ;  but  now  Dodo,  inspired 
by  that  spirit  of  revolt  which  seemed  so  prevalent 
among  the  natives,  stirred  up  the  Baphutis  to  resist 
it ;  and  nothing  was  left  for  Mr.  Austin  but  to 
commit  the  offenders  to  prison  until  the  tax  was 

Dodo  threatened  Mr.  Austin  fiercely,  and  de- 
clared he  would  release  the  prisoners;  so  an 
attempt  was  made,  unsuccessfully,  to  arrest  him ; 

Digitized  by 




[Morosi's  Mountain. 

for  the  black  j)olice  were  Baphutis,  the  culprit 
was  the  son  of  their  chief,  and  they,  no  doubt,  had 
a  common  interest  in  the  matter. 

At  the  magistrate's  request  fifty  troopers  of  the 
Cape  Mounted  Rifles  were  ordered  to  a  place 
called  Stork  Spruit,  but  ere  they  could  reach  it 
Dodo  broke  open  the  prison,  and  let  loose  all  who 
were  in  it  Mr.  Austin  demanded  the  surrender 
of  the  ringleaders,  but  Morosi  either  could  not,  or 
would  not,  give  them  up ;  and  the  former,  finding 
his  life  in  peril,  retired  in  haste  to  Stork  Spruit,  on 
which  the  Baphutis  destroyed  the  Residency  and 
all  its  buildings,  betaking  them  at  once  to  musket 
and  assegai 

The  Rifles  rode  instantly  into  Morosi's  country, 
and  had  a  brush  with  him,  killing  many,  with 
the  loss  of  three  troopers.  ,  Thus  was  another 
petty  war  inaugurated 

Morosi  now  took  possession  of  a  lofty  mountain 
near  Stork  Spruit,  and  for  many  days  defied  all 
attempts  to  dislodge  him,  his  garrison  consisting  of 
1,500  Baphutis,  with  many  wives  and  children. 
Still  wishing  to  give  the  old  warrior  a  chance,  the 
Government  offered  him  peace  and  his  own  lands 
if  he  would  give  up  Dodo  and  the  leading  revolters. 
"  Morosi  requested  to  be  allowed  a  week  for  con- 
sideration. During  the  interval  he  gradually  re- 
moved the  whole  of  his  tribe,  with  their  cattle  and 
horses,  to  another  mountain  about  twenty  miles 
distant,  from  which  he  never  came  down  alive." 

Most  artfully  and  skilfully  was  this  achieved,  and 
none  knew  of  it  till  the  time  came  for  his  answer, 
when  the  mountain  at  Stork  Spruit  was  found  to  be 
garrisoned  by  only  a  few  women  and  children,  who 
were  allowed  to  join  their  friends. 

For  a  time  the  Government  was  perplexed.  The 
country  was  most  difficult  of  access ;  forage — ^grass 
especially — was  scarce ;  there  were  no  roads,  and 
the  mountain  whereon  Morosi  had  perched  himself 
was  known  to  be  a  position  of  great  natural  strength, 
having  thereon  well-built  fortifications,  the  erection 
of  which  had  been — for  ten  years — the  pet  hobby 
of  the  old  warrior  of  Berea,  He  had  spent  all  his 
energies  and  skill  on  it ;  thus  the  mountain  was 
deemed  almost  impregnable.  Houses  and  huts 
covered  the  summit  of  it,  and  therein  he  had 
stored  up  ammunition,  cattle,  and  food,  and  feeling 
that  he  was  well  prepared  to  stand  a  siege,  resolved 
to  defy  every  one. 

"  Morosi's  Mountain,"  writes  one  who  was  at  the 
storming  of  it,  "  stands  at  an  elbow  of  the  Orange 
River.  On  three  sides  it  is  perfectly  perpendicular. 
The  fourth  is  a  slope  of  about  a  mile,  and  sub- 
tending an  angle  of  about  thirty  degrees.  This 
slope  was  protected  by  a  series  of  schanzes,  or 

walls,  about  from  eight  to  twelve  feet  high,  loop- 
holed  for  rifles  and  guns,  and  very  strongly  built 
Artillery  against  the  walls  was  utterly  useless ;  the 
shell  might  knock  a  stone  or  two  away,  but  nothing 
approaching  a  gap  would  be  produced.  About 
nine  of  these  walls  were  placed  at  intervals  up  this 
slope.  They  were  built  right  across,  and  if  you  got 
over  one  it  was  only  to  be  stopped  by  another  just 
in  front  of  you,  and  so  on  right  up  to  the  top.  The 
top  of  this  mountain  was  about  a  mile  long  and 
half  a  mile  broad,  and  was  also  completely  schanzed 
in  every  direction.  Cross  schanzes  (or  traverses) 
were  built  in  between  those  running  across,  so 
whenever  you  attempted  to  get  over  one  of  these 
walls  you  were  met  by  cross-firing  in  three  or  four 

The  Baphutis  are  excellent  marksmen,  and  kept 
these  fortifications  constantly  manned ;  thus  it  was 
certain  death  for  a  white  man  to  ventiure  within  five 
hundred  yards  of  their  loopholes. 

Some  twelve  hundred  yards  from  the  lower,  or 
outermost  wall  on  the  slope,  b  a  narrow  neck  of 
rock,  called  the  Saddle,  terminating  in  a  hill  The 
whole  length  of  both  is  about  seven  hundred  yards. 
The  Orange  River,  or  Gariep,  turns  sharp  round  the 
mountain  on  the  north  side,  and  as  it  flows  towards 
the  north-east  is  joined  by  the  Quithing,  a  tributary 
stream.  In  that  quarter  is  a  large  fissure,  named 
Bourne's  Crack,  in  which  there  are  great  natural 
steps,  some  twenty  feet  or  so  apart,  overlooked  at 
the  summit  by  a  mass  of  impending  rocL  "  Across 
the  fissure  I  have  described,"  says  the  writer  above 
quoted,  "  at  the  top,  was  a  distance  of  about  six 
feet,  and  from  the  summit  of  the  overhanging  rock 
to  what  I  may  call  the  first  step  was  about  twenty 
feet  From  the  top  to  the  bottom  of  this  precipice 
was  a  distance  of  about  seventy  feet  It  is  neces- 
sary to  trouble  the  reader  with  these  minute  details, 
as  it  was  up  this  last  place  the  mountain  was 
eventually  taken." 

When  Morosi  first  took  possession,  and  defied 
the  Government,  three  troops  of  the  Cape  Mounted 
Rifles  had  been  sent  with  orders  to  envh-on  the 
mountain,  and  cut  off  all  communication  between 
it  and  the  surrounding  country — a  service  for  which 
this  force,  mustering  only  250  men,  proved  quite 
inadequate,  as  so  much  ground  had  to  be  covered 
and  secured 

Thus  a  body  of  the  newly-enrolled  Yeomanry 
was  sent  to  reinforce  them,  and  the  Premier  of 
Cape  Colony  sent  with  them  three  guns  he  had 
purchased — aWhitworth  12-pounder,  and  two  steel 
rifled  guns — from  the  Orange  Free  State,  and  plenty 
of  ammunition,  but  omitted  to  call  out  the  Volun- 
teer Artillery. 

Digitized  by 


MorosTs  Moantain.] 



The  Yeomanry  individually  were  fine  men,  but 
untrained,  and  not  very  well  led ;  thus,  when  they 
were  dismounted  for  a  regularly  organised  attack  on 
the  5th  June,  under  the  command  of  one  of  their 
colonels,  they  were  roughly  repulsed  by  the 
Baphutis,  with  the  loss  of  twenty  men,  while  that 
of  the  enemy  was  nothing ;  indeed,  the  Yeomanry 
never  got  within  a  hundred  yards  of  the  first  wall, 
through  the  dark  loopholes  of  which  the  muskets 
of  the  Baphutis  belched  forth  fire,  smoke,  and 
bullets  with  a  deadly  aim. 

On  this  occasion  Surgeon-Major  Edmond  Baron 
Hartley,  of  the  Cape  Mounted  Rifles,  received  the 
coveted  V.C,  "  for  conspicuous  gallantry  displayed 
by  him  in  attending  the  wounded  under  fire  at  the 
unsuccessfiil  attack  on  Morosi's  Mountain  in  Basuto- 
land  on  the  5th  June,  1879,  and  for  having  pro- 
ceeded into  the  open  under  a  heavy  fire,  and 
carried  in  his  arms  from  an  exposed  position 
Corporal  A.  Jones,  of  the  Cape  Mounted  Rifle- 
men, who  was  wounded.  The  surgeon-major  then 
returned  under  the  severe  fire  of  the  enemy,  in 
order  to  dress  the  wounds  of  the  other  men  of  the 
storming  party." 

Another  event  as  unpleasant  as  this  repulse 
occurred  about  the  same  time.  A  troop  of  the 
Colonial  Yeomanry,  encamped  not  fiEu:  fi'om  the 
mountain  at  the  delta  of  the  Quithing  and  Orange 
River,  was  surprised  by  the  Basutos,  who  sud- 
denly overix)wered  the  sentries,  and  rushed  among 
the  tents,  in  which  many  were  assegaied  before 
they  could  reach  their  arms  and  turn  out.  A 
hand-to-hand  fight  ensued  for  about  an  hour,  when 
the  enemy  were  driven  off,  after  six  men  had  been 
killed  and  fifteen  severely  wounded.  Great  in- 
dignation was  expressed  at  the  military  mismanage- 
ment (of  the  Colonial  officers)  which  permitted  such 
a  disaster  to  occur. 

The  next  attack  on  the  mountain  was  to 
take  place  in  July,  after  the  troops  had  been 
reinforced  by  Artillery,  Burghers,  a  Hottentot  con- 
tingent, and  a  fourth  troop  of  the  Cape  Mounted 

The  day  previous  to  the  attack,  Sergeant  Scott,  of 
the  Cape  Mounted  Rifles,  with  seven  men,  gallantly 
volunteered  to  creep  up  at  night,  and  toss  in  shells 
with  lighted  fuses  to  drive  the  enem/s  marksmen 
fi-om  behind  the  loopholes.  They  proposed  to 
lie  dose  under  the  stone  wall  until  the  escalade  was 
ready  to  advance. 

These  eight  brave  fellows  succeeded  in  getting 
up  safely  and  unseen,  and  lay  close  beneath  the 
waO  with  their  deadly  missiles,  waiting  for  daylight 
The  Commandant-General  Griffiths — late  of  the 
Armed  Police — ^volunteered  to  lead  the  assault. 

which  was  bungled,  it  has  been  said,  by  the  Yeo- 
manry and  Burghers,  who  were  to  support  the  Cape 
Mounted  Rifles,  the  latter,  as  trained  troops,  having 
the  honour  of  leading  the  way. 

The  bugles  rang  out  the  "  advance."  Sergeant 
Scott  and  his  party  flung  in  their  shells  to  clear  the 
first  wall  of  its  defenders,  which  they  did  success- 
fully, and,  rushing  forward,  the  Riflemen  carried  it, 
while  Scott  was  borne  to  the  rear  desperately 
wounded,  the  third  shell  having  burst  in  his  hand, 
shattering  it,  and  injuring  three  others  of  the  party. 

The  Cape  Rifles  carried  the  wall  and  shot  down 
a  number  of  the  enemy,  but  had  to  fall  back,  as  the 
Burghers  and  Yeomanry  utterly  failed  to  support 
them ;  nor  could  they  be  induced  to  advance  in 
any  way.  The  Rifles  suffered  severely;  Captain 
Surmon  was  shot  through  the  lungs,  and  thirty-four 
other  casualties  occurred 

Sergeant  Scott  had  his  hand  amputated,  and 
received,  deservedly,  the  Victoria  Cross. 

Though  the  month  was  June,  the  firosts  of  the 
Cape  winter  were  coming  on,  and  the  nights  under 
canvas  were  bitterly  cold  The  Baphutis  were 
exultant,  and  made  fi-equent  sorties ;  but,  save  that 
mentioned,  no  other  surprise  was  achieved 

A  party  of  the  Rifles  went  up  one  night  to  re- 
connoitre, and  was  surprised  One  was  wounded 
and  taken  prisoner.  Next  morning  his  head  was 
seen  on  a  pole  on  the  summit  of  the  mountain, 
and  a  few  hours  after  his  body  was  flung  over  the 
outer,  or  lower,  wall 

The  horses  were  now  dying  daily;  the  whole 
force  was  suffering  firom  sickness ;  provisions  were 
got  with  difficulty,  and  no  grass  could  be  obtained 
for  the  cattle.  So,  leaving  but  a  few  to  watch  the 
mountain,  chiefly  native  levies,  the  Cape  Rifles, 
with  the  Artillery,  marched  to  Fort  Ibeka,  which 
they  reached  in  twenty-three  days,  and  went  into 
winter  quarters,  leaving  old  Morosi  in  undbputed 
possession  of  his  mountain. 

In  the  October  of  1879  the  troops  were  before  it 
again,  with  their  guns  and  carriages  all  refitted, 
and  the  Cape  Rifles  fireshly  mounted  and  newly 
equipped  A  march  between  high  hills,  with 
several  rivers  to  ford,  brought  the  troops  past  the 
neat  houses  and  flour-mills  of  Stork  Spruit,  to  a 
post  called  Thomas's  Shop,  so  named  from  a  man 
who  once  kept  a  lonely  store  there.  At  this  place 
a  hospital  had  been  built  for  the  service  of  the  force 
employed  in  blockading  the  mountain.  It  was 
fortified  for  defence,  and  surrounded  by  a  high 
stone  wall  From  there  a  fan:  but  narrow  road 
leads  to  the  mountain,  fifteen  miles  distant  It  is 
cut  out  of  the  hill  sides,  and  has  sharp  and 
dangerous  turns,  in  some  places  passing  along  the 

Digitized  by 




[Morosi'i  Moantain. 

edge  of  cliffs  having  a  sheer  descent  of  500  feet 
into  the  Orange  River. 

When  the  troops  came  again  in  sight  of  Morosi's 
Mountain,  as  day  was  breaking,  they  thought  it 
looked  blacker  than  ever,  and  the  walls  seemed  to 
have  risen  in  height  The  entire  force  consisted 
now  of  only  350  of  the  Cape  Mounted  Rifles, 

they  were  always  fired  when  a  native  showed  his 
black  woolly  head  A  picket  was  posted  day  and 
night  on  the  rock  called  the  Saddle,  300  yards  from 
the  first  wall,  and  then  a  lively  fire  of  musketry 
was  kept  up  between  the  Rifles  and  the  Baphutis 
of  Morosi,  without  many  casualties  on  either 
side.     This  was  chiefly  to  show  the  enemy  that  the 


some  Yeomanry  and  Burghers,  with  four  pieces  of 
cannon,  and  the  Fingoes. 

After  Colonel  Bayley  came  to  assume  the  com- 
mand, the  Yeomanry,  Burghers  and  Fingoes  were, 
very  singularly,  sent  to  their  homes,  the  colonel 
declaring  that  he  would  rather  storm  the  mountain 
with  the  men  of  his  own  regiment  alone,  than  he 
would  have  them  impeded  by  ill-trained  troops. 

He  encamped  his  Rifles  opposite  the  sloping 
side  of  the  mountain,  its  western  face.  A  strong 
stone  wall  was  built  round  the  tents  or  huts,  and 
immediately  below  the  camp  opened  a  pretty  green 
valley,  wherein  the  horses  were  placed 

The  colonel  placed  his  guns  at  a  point  1,000 
yards  distant  from  the  first  or   lower  wall,  and 

besiegers  were  on  the  alert,  and  to  preclude  any 
night  sorties  on  the  camp. 

The  changing  the  picket  was  the  most  exciting 
and  perilous  part  of  the  work,  as  the  relieving  force 
had  to  pass  within  400  yards  of  the  first  wall  to 
reach  the  Saddle,  which  they  always  did  at  a  rush 
"  The  whole  camp  used  to  turn  out  to  watch  the 
relief,  and  unmercifully  we  used  to  chaff  our  com- 
rades who  were  about  to  be  shot  at  The  men  got 
so  used  to  this  daily  one-sided  shooting  match,  that 
they  took  it  quite  as  a  matter  of  course.  Our  chaff 
evidently  acted  as  an  antidote  to  the  enemy's  guns, 
for  not  one  was  on  any  of  these  occasions  wounded, 
though  the  escapes  were  narrow  as  well  as  nu- 
merous."   ("  With  the  Cape  Mounted  Rifles.") 

Digitized  by 


Moron's  Moontaan.)  THE    CAPE    RIFLES.  43 


Digitized  by 




t,Morosi's  Mountain. 

Colonel  Bayley  resorted  to  many  devices  to 
induce  old  Morosi  to  descend  into  the  open  and 
assail  the  camp ;  but  he  was  too  wary,  and  knew 
the  advantage  of  remaining  strictly  on  the  defensive. 

The  mountain  was  shelled  by  the  heaviest  guns, 
but  with  what  effect  was  then  unknown.  Star 
shells  were  frequently  sent  up  at  night,  illumi- 
nating the  whole  mountain  with  a  weird  and 
ghastly  light,  showing  its  bold  and  rugged  outline, 
the  massive  faces  of  the  loop-holed  walls  rising  tier 
above  tier,  with  the  dark  spaces  between,  and 
enabling  the  soldiers  to  take  a  correct  aim  with  the 
guns  while  the  light  lasted,  after  which  several 
rounds  were  fired  in  succession ;  but  as  the  result 
of  this  was  unknown,  the  colonel  ordered  it  to  be 

Almost  nightly  this  formidable  mountain  fortress 
was  reconnoitred  by  small  parties,  noiselessly,  to 
find  a  suitable  place  for  an  escalade.  Colonel 
Bayley  and  his  officers  made  no  secret  that  this  was 
the  plan  they  meant  to  adopt,  as  a  mortar  was 
ordered  from  King  William's  Town,  and  scaling- 
ladders  were  being  constructed  at  Aliwal,  to  which 
a  railway  ran  from  the  former  place ;  but  no  time 
for  the  desperate  venture  was  stated. 

The  mortar,  with  its  equipments,  came  at  last, 
and  it  proved  to  be  an  old  brass  one  from  the  Cape 
Town  Museum,  as  it  bore  the  inscription,  "  George 
Rex,  J  802,"  having  been  cast  seventy-seven  years 
before,  for  throwing  1 6-pound  shell.  The  fuses  that 
accompanied  it  had  been  stored  for  years  unknown. 
Thus  it  was  deemed  necessary  to  make  a  careful 
trial  of  them.  They  were  supposed  to  bum  twenty 
seconds  before  exploding  the  shell 

"  No.  I  burnt  four  seconds,  then  went  off  with  a 
shoot ;  No.  2  would  not  bum  at  all ;  No.  3  bumt 
five  seconds,  and  then  blew  out  the  whole  of  the 
composition.  The  result  of  using  these  fuses  would 
probably  have  been  the  injury  or  destruction  of  the 
entire  mortar  squad." 

Some  were  now  manufactured  out  of  the  Cape 
Rifle  7-pounder  fuses,  and  for  safety  iron  bands 
were  put  round  the  bed  of  the  venerable  tnortar, 
which  was  dragged  to  within  600  yards  of  the  first 
wall,  at  which  a  few  experimental  shots  were  thrown, 
and  made  a  gap  in  it  But  the  natives  manned  it 
and  their  loopholes,  and  poured  from  them  so  heavy 
a  fire  that  the  mortar  squad  had  to  rush  for  shelter 
behind  some  stone  heaps  till  the  guns  swept  the 
schanzes,  and  then  the  mortar  was  dragged  back 
into  camp. 

"We  had  to  fire  this  mortar,"  says  the  Cape 
Rifleman  who  commanded  the  squad,  "at  a  distance 
of  600  yards  from  the  centre  schanze  of  the  moun- 
tain, and  it  soon  became  apparent  that  if  we  did 

not  wish  to  lose  some  of  our  number,  a  bastion,  or 
some  protection,  must  be  built  for  the  men  who  were 
working  the  mortar.  Volunteers  were  called  for,  to 
build  it  There  was  no  difficulty ;  forty  men  at  once 
came  forward,  and  each  picking  up  a  large  stone  at 
about  800  yards,  ran  with  it  to  the  point  determined 
on  for  the  bastion,  and  deposited  it  A  sufficient 
quantity  of  material  being  thus  collected,  we  ad- 
vanced to  build,  and  here  the  cunning  and  skill  of 
Morosi  significantly  displayed  themselves.  Whilst 
we  had  been  collecting  the  stones,  not  a  shot  had 
been  fired  by  his  side,  as  we  were  scattered ;  but 
directly  we  were,  so  to  speak,  massed,  the  natives 
commenced  firing  at  us,  volley  upon  volley.  We 
cheered,  and  piled  up  the  stones  as  hard  and  as 
quickly  as  we  could,  knowing  full  well  that  the 
higher  we  got  the  wall,  the  more  cover  we  should 
enjoy.  We  were  without  arms  of  any  description, 
and  within  500  yards  of  the  first  schanze,.  when,  I 
suppose,  it  suddenly  occurred  to  them  the  purpose 
for  which  we  were  building.  Their  fire  suddenly 
ceased,  and  numbers  of  the  enemy  appeared  on 
the  schanzes,  as  if  they  intended  charging." 

By  having  to  resort  to  stones  for  cover,  it  is 
evident  that  neither  fascines  nor  sand- bags  were 
procurable ;  but  a  sortie  was  prevented  by  Colonel 
Bayley,  who  opened  with  his  large  guns,  and  under 
cover  of  this  fire  his  men  built  a  species  of  bastion, 
semicircular  in  form,  twenty  feet  in  length,  and  eight 
high.  To  the  right  of  it  the  wall  of  a  house  served 
as  a  magazine.  They  roofed  it  with  hides,  and 
over  the  rough  wall  of  the  hastily-constmcted  bas- 
tion hung  more  hides,  to  prevent  the  concussion 
of  the  mortar  throwing  the  loose  stones  down. 

Under  cover  of  night  it  was  brought  into  position, 
and  at  daybreak  astonished  the  Baphutis  by  break- 
ing their  walls,  and  throwing  its  destructive  shell 
over  the  whole  moufttain.  In  short,  the  veteran 
mortar  of  1802  proved  a  complete  success.  Its 
shells  were  thrown  over  the  schanzes,  so  that  they 
might  roll  down  and  explode  among  the  men 
behind  them,  and  with  this  view  the  practice  made 
by  the  Cape  Riflemen  was  excellent 

For  five  nights  and  days  the  mortar  squad  re- 
mained in  their  little  bastion  firing  at  intervals, 
while  a  squad  was  detailed  to  prevent  them  firom 
being  attacked,  and  all  knew  that  they  were  on  the 
eve  of  a  final  assault 

On  the  Sunday  before  it,  the  Bishop  of  Bloom- 
fontein  and  two  other  English  clergymen  arrived, 
and  held  Divine  service  in  the  little  camp.  Their 
presence  was  much  appreciated  by  the  brave  fellows 
of  the  regiment,  with  whom  one  of  them,  the  Rev. 
Mr.  Russell,  remained,  and  when  the  time  came 
actually  went  up  with  the  stormers. 

Digitized  by 


Morosi's  Mountain  .1 



The  scaling-ladders  arrived,  but  proved  weak 
and  defective,  so  the  Riflemen  resorted  to  the 
method  of  tying  two  together,  and  strapping  them 
with  iron  bands. 

On  the  night  before  the  assault  it  was  proclaimed 
in  camp  that  a  reward  of  ;;^2oo  was  offered  for  old 
Morosi,  dead  or  alive;  the  same  sum  for  Dodo; 
^^^  jC^Si  ^^^  promotion,  to  the  first  officer  or 
man  on  the  mountain. 

The  assault  was  to  be  made  at  the  dip  of  the 
moon  behind  the  hills,  about  half  an  hour  after 
midnight  The  stormers  were  to  dress  as  they 
chose,  and  to  arm  as  they  chose,  but  all  were  to 
have  their  rifled  carbines  and  revolvers;  while 
parties  of  six  natives  were  told  off  to  the  scaling- 

Previous  to  the  night  of  the  assault  the  old 
mortar  had  been  incessantly  discharged  for  four 
days  and  nights,  at  intervals  of  ten  minutes  in  the 
latter,  at  various  times  in  the  former;  and  as  then  it 
was  worked  by  its  adventurous  squad  alone,  they 
were  beginning  to  be  thoroughly  worn  out  The 
heavy  guns  were  fired  at  intervals  during  the  day 
before  the  attack,  and  both  they  and  the  mortar 
were  to  cease  at  midnight 

The  mountain  was  to  be  assailed  by  scaling- 
ladders  up  the  great  fissure  in  the  rocks,  called 
Bourne's  Crack — already  described — and  another 
on  the  krantz  adjoining  it,  and  officers  were  told 
off  to  lead  the  two  forlorn  hopes.  During  the 
preceding  day,  twenty-five  men  of  the  Wodehouse 
Border  Guard,  under  Lieutenant  Mulenbeck,  and 
fifty  Fingoes,  under  the  redoubtable  Allan  Maclean, 
came  into  camp,  raising  Bayley's  force  to  400  white 
men  and  100  natives. 

"The  Fingoes,"  says  Tomasson,  adjutant  of  the 
Irr^ular  Horse,  in  his  narrative,  "are  the  most 
loyal  race  in  South  Africa;  we  have  redeemed 
these  people  from  a  life  of  abject  slavery,  and  in 
return  they  are  loyal  and  grateful  Gratitude  is 
scarce  in  South  Africa ;  the  fact  is  therefore  worth 
mentioning.  Previously  to  our  taking  them  in 
hand,  they  were  veritable  hewers  of  wood  and 
drawers  of  water  to  their  fiercer  neighbours.  They 
fought  fisdrly  under  various  leaders — Lonsdale, 
Pattel,  and  others,  in  the  Gaika  and  Galeka  wars 
of  1877.  They  submitted  to  be  disarmed  in  1880, 
but  have  had  their  arms  restored,  and  are  now 
fighting  with  us  against  the  Tambookies,  Basutos, 
and  Tembus." 

The  day  was  passed  by  the  whites  in  athletic 
sports,  playing  cards,  and  writing  letters;  and  at 
sunset  the  picket  on  the  Saddle  Rock  was  relieved 
by  Mulenbeck  and  his  Borderers,  with  orders  to 
hold  the  position  at  all  hazard,  and  endeavour  to 

fight  their  way  into  the  schanzes  the  moment  the 
attack  began. 

The  bright  Afiican  moon  was  beginning  to  sink 
towards  the  dark  and  undulating  hills  that  over- 
hang the  Orange  River,  when  the  tents  were  struck 
at  eleven  p.m.,  and  in  silence  the  stormers  fell  in, 
and  with  hearty  good  wishes  irom  their  comrades 
at  the  gims,  marched  off  for  the  base  of  the  moun- 
tain, about  1,500  yards  distant 

In  case  of  a  repulse  and  sortie,  at  that  time  a 
strong  breastwork  was  being  constructed  in  a  comer 
of  the  stone  camp  wall  It  was  made  of  casks  and 
bags  of  mealies,  as  a  place  of  shelter  and  retreat ; 
and  this  was  all  the  more  necessary  as  the  Fingoes 
had  discovered  that  a  body  of  Tambookies,  who 
came  in  that  evening — natives  of  the  Transkei — 
meant  to  pillage  the  camp  the  moment  the  Rifle- 
men left  it  "  Though  these  Tambookies  were 
nominally  friendly  to  the  Cape  Government,  and 
had  professedly  come  to  assist,  as  their  home  is  on 
the  borders  of  Basutoland,  it  was  highly  probable 
that,  in  the  event  of  the  storming  party  meeting 
with  a  repulse,  they  would  act  as  reported.  Had 
they  done  so  they  would  have  met  with  a  very 
agreeable  reception." 

But  the  treacherous  Tambookies,  to  their  no 
small  surprise  and  disgust,  were  ordered  to  join  in 
the  assault,  to  ascend  a  gully  on  the  left  of  the 
slope  facing  the  camp,  and  the  moment  the  artillery 
ceased  firing  they  were  to  join  the  storming  party. 

Three  rockets  in  quick  succession  were  to  be  the 
signal  to  advance.  The  last  segment  of  the  great 
silver  disc  of  the  moon  had  just  dipped  behind  the 
opaque  ridge  of  the  hills,  and  on  the  waters  of  the 
Orange  River  her  lustre  had  faded  out,  when  the 
three  rockets,  red  and  roaring,  described  three  fiery 
arcs  in  the  darkened  sky,  and  the  stormers,  with 
their  ladders,  rushed  to  the  front,  and  began  the 
perilous  ascent 

Lieutenant  C  Springer  of  No.  3  troop,  planted 
his  scaling-ladder  a  little  to  the  right  of  the  great 
fissure  known  as  Bourne's  Crack,  and  ascended, 
followed  closely  by  his  men.  He  was  just  nearing 
the  summit,  when  a  Baphuti  put  his  head  over  the 
krantz,  and  cried  in  Dutch, — 

"  Do  not  venture  here,  or  I  shall  shoot  you." 

"  Shoot  away ! "  cried  Springer  ;  and  he  shot  the 
Baphuti,  who,  in  looking  over,  exposed  himself  too 
much,  but  his  bullet  grazed  the  shoulder  of  the 
lieutenant,  and  ripped  his  shirt 

The  sound  of  these  shots  brought  the  whole 
garrison  of  the  mountain  to  arms. 

Our  soldiers  were  fast  going  up  the  ladders  now, 
dragging  the  latter  after  them,  and  fixing  them  in 
fi-esh  places ;  while  the  enemy,  expecting  an  attack 

Digitized  by 




[Moron's  Moantain. 

as  usual  in  front,  were  all  in  the  schanzes,  and 
lining  the  loopholes  with  their  muskets,  little  aware 
that  they  were  being  taken  in  fiank. 

There  were  only  thirty  of  them  at  the  real  point 
of  attack,  and  these  were  quickly  all  shot  down. 
Within  five  minutes  of  the  first  planting  of  the 
ladders  there  were  two  hundred  men  on  the 
mountain,  helping  each  other  up.  Meanwhile 
Lieutenant  Mulenbeck,  with  his  men  of  the  Border 
Guard,  had  fought  his  way  up  from  the  Saddle,  and 
actually  reached  the  fourth  schanze,  shooting  down 
the  Baphutis  in  the  preceding  three. 

Headed  by  Allan  Maclean,  the  Fingoes,  all 
thirsting  for  blood,  had  reached  the  summit  of  the 
gulley  assigned  to  them  as  their  place  of  ascent ; 
but  the  treacherous  Tambookies  had  refused  to 
advance.  They  were  sent  back  by  Captain  Hook, 
disarmed  by  the  Artillery,  and  made  prisoners. 

A  few  minutes  after  the  first  200  men  of  the 
storming  party  were  up,  the  faulty  ladders  gave  way 
under  the  excited  crowd  that  followed,  and  the 
latter  had  to  be  pulled  up  by  the  hands  of  those 
above ;  and  by  that  time  the  enemy  had  quitted 
the  schanzes,  s\^d  came  rushing  to  the  other  side  of 
the  mountain,  to  meet  and  resist  the  escalade. 

"  Front — form  line  !  "  was  now  the  order ;  and 
cheering  heartily,  the  Cape  Rifles  charged  across 
the  flat  summit  of  the  mountain,  driving  the  be- 
wildered enemy  headlong  before  them.  The  latter 
faced  about  more  than  once,  and  the  combat  was  a 
hand-to-hand  one — but  very  brief,  as  the  Baphutis 
were  cut  down  or  shot  where  diey  stood;  and 
those  who  escaped  the  bullet  or  cold  steel  were 
hurled  over  the  precipitous  sides  of  the  moun- 
tain, and  dashed  into  mangled  heaps  below ;  while 
the  Rifles,  dividing  into  four  parties,  scoured 
every  nook,  cranny,  and  possible  hiding-place,  for 
Morosi  and  Dodo. 

Many  Baphutis  were  found  concealed  in  caves 
of  the  mountain.  From  these  they  were  dragged 
forth  and  shot ;  and  after  several  resolute  attempts 
to  storm  a  cave  in  which  Morosi  was  hidden,  he 
too  was  brought  out  and  shot;  but  Dodo,  the 
original  cause  of  all  the  strife,  could  nowhere  be 

Just  as  the  sun  was  rising  the  British  colours 
were  hoisted  on  the  mountain,  and  at  the  same 
moment  the  head  of  old  Morosi  was  placed  upon 

a  staff  in  the  centre  of  the  camp  below.  He  had 
been  shot  by  a  Rifleman  named  Whitehead,  who  had 
a  narrow  escape,  as  Morosi's  last  bullet  traversed  the 
peak  and  crown  of  his  cap.  Whitehead  did  not 
know  whom  he  had  shot,  and  on  the  body  being 
brought  down  by  another  soldier,  the  latter  received 
the  reward 

It  seems  incredible  that  amid  all  this  slaughter, 
and  amid  the  almost  universal  destruction  of 
Morosi's  garrison,  our  casualties  should  only  be 
two  men  wounded  and  one  Fingo  killed  by  the 
accidental  shot  of  a  comrade.  "  Four  old  women, 
Morosi's  wives,  two  children,  and  one  paralysed 
man,  constituted  the  prisoners;  all  the  rest  were 
either  killed  or  had  escaped." 

Dodo,  with  120  men,  got  away  by  leaping  off  the 
giddy  cliffs  into  the  Orange  River.  How  many 
perished  in  that  awful  and  desperate  plunge  it  is 
impossible  to  say. 

The  closing  act  of  the  day  was  to  strip,  flog,  and 
drive  the  disarmed  Tambookies  out  of  camp ;  and 
they  fled  away,  shrieking  with  pain  and  spite. 

On  that  mountain  Morosi  had  successfully 
defied  every  effort  of  the  Cape  Government  to 
dislodge  him  for  nine  months,  and  his  resistance 
had  cost  several  lives  and  a  great  deal  of  money. 
It  is  said  that  the  scene  it  displayed  after  capture 
is  beyond  description.  The  effect  of  the  old 
mortar  and  the  shells  had  been  terrible.  Nearly 
all  the  women  and  children  were  lying  there  in 
heaps,  torn  to  pieces,  dbembowelled,  and  maimed 
in  every  way  by  iron  splinters  and  case-shot  Ere 
they  perished  thus,  they  had  all  been  mad  with 
terror ;  go  where  they  might,  the  flying  iron  fiag- 
ments  found  them. 

Dead  and  dying  cattle  were  lying  in  all  directions, 
with  enormous  quantities  of  bones.  The  former, 
with  the  great  stores  of  com  and  other  food,  with 
the  fine  springs,  might  have  enabled  Morosi  to 
hold  out  for  months  longer. 

The  walls  were  all  demolished,  and  a  strong 
square  stone  house  was  blown  up,  with  seven  tons 
of  ammunition  it  contained.  These  operations  and 
the  burial  of  the  dead  occupied  all  the  troops  an 
entire  week;  and  fourteen  days  after  its  capture 
saw  the  mountain  once  again  abandoned  to  its 
former  loneliness,  while  the  troops  were  marched 
back  to  their  quarters  at  Ibeka  and  elsewhere. 

Digitized  by 





CHAPTER    Vill. 



Many  more  corps  of  Volunteer  horse,  foot,  and 
artillery,  beyond  those  we  have  enumerated,  were 
now  enrolled  for  service  in  the  Cape  Colony,  and 
regiments  of  regular  troops  began  to  arrive  from 
the  mother  country. 

In  the  strife  which  ensued,  the  Basutos  fought 
with  all  the  courage  and  daring  that  was  antici- 
pated, and  certainly  with  more  than  savage  skill. 
They  proved  themselves  admirable  horsemen,  and 
dexterous  in  the  construction  of  stone  defences, 
and  the  manner  in  which  they  availed  themselves 
of  these,  saved  them  from  more  than  one  defeat, 
and  in  many  a  charge  they  displayed  more  moral 
fibre  than  their  old  enemies,  the  Zulus. 

Like  the  Scottish  Highlanders  of  old,  they 
trusted  greatly  to  the  fury  of  their  first  onslaught ; 
yet  their  engagements  were  often  marked  by  feints 
and  ambuscades. 

On  the  1 2th  of  September,  1880,  when  Colonel 
Carrington,  with  only  70  men  of  the  Cape  Mounted 
Rifles,  was  making  a  reconnaissance  near  the  village 
of  a  rebel  chief  named  Letherodi,  in  Basutoland, 
he  was  assailed  by  the  latter  at  the  head  of  1,200 
mea  This  warrior  took  possession  of  the  road 
along  which  the  Colonial  troops  were  advancing, 
and  attacked  them  with  the  greatest  spirit  A 
sharp  engagement  ensued;  but  in  the  end  the 
Colonial  troops  prevailed,  drove  back  their  as- 
saikmts,  and  pursued  them  for  three  miles.  They 
then  entrenched  themselves  in  the  compound  of 
the  Residency,  and  had  there  to  sustain  several 
skirmishes,  before  their  frail  position  was  sur- 
rounded, as  it  was  eventually  by  Letherodi. 

On  the  1 7th  September  a  small  party,  under  an 
officer  named  Sherrington,  who  had  been  sent  out 
to  bum  the  kraals,  and  seize  any  grain  that  might 
be  found  in  the  vicinity  of  Letherodi's  village,  was 
assailed  by  800  mounted  Basutos,  who  poured  in 
a  heavy,  but,  fortunately,  ineffectual  fire.  The 
critical  position  of  this  little  band  being  observed 
at  the  Residency,  30  men  were  sent  to  reinforce 
them,  and  the  whole  then  fell  back  in  good  order 
upon  Delphiny,  a  strongly-built  storehouse,  gar- 
risoned by  Fingoes.  In  the  retreat  three  men 
were  lost ;  one — Private  MacGee — ^being  wounded 
and  dismounted.  Lieutenant  Clarke  bravely  en- 
deavoured to  place  the  wounded  soldier  on  his 
own  horse;  the  animal  proved  restive,  and  both 

were  overtaken,  and  assegaied  to  death.  Another 
private,  named  Bernard  White,  was  also  cut  off. 

The  enemy's  loss  was  computed  at  50  killed  of 
the  men  of  Letherodi 

The  force  of  the  latter  soon  increased  to  7,000 
men,  for  the  Basutos  had  now  been  joined  by  the 
Tambookies,  a  tribe  numbering  about  98,000. 

On  the  22nd  September,  Letherodi,  at  the  head 
of  his  men,  furiously  attacked,  at  Mafeteng,  the 
Colonial  entrenchments,  which  were  well  barri- 
caded, but  now  occupied  by  only  200  Cape 
Mounted  Rifles  under  Colonel  Carrington,  and 
some  200  Native  Police  under  Mr.  Barkly,  a 
magistrate.  The  dark-skinned  savages  came  on  in 
splendid  and  fearless  style,  at  a  fierce  gallop  and 
in  immense  numbers.  Charging  with  irresistible 
force,  they  drove  in  the  outposts  and  swept  off  the 
cattle.  Advancing  then  from  every  point  in  a 
semi-military  manner,  with  supports  and  reserves, 
notwithstanding  a  heavy  fire  from  the  Colonial 
troops,  they  obtained  possession  of  a  little  village 
named  Nishapi,  four  hundred  yards  distant  from 
the  entrenchments. 

More  severe  fighting  ensued;  the  Residency — 
where  Carrington's  "  handful "  of  men  fought  for 
their  lives — was  almost  completely  surrounded. 
And  now  the  skill  exhibited  by  the  Basutos  was 
very  remarkable.  They  attacked  furiously  in  flank 
as  well  as  in  front,  throwing  up  shelters  as  they 

They  loopholed  the  garden  wall,  and  through 
it  poured  in  their  fire.  They  were  to  a  great 
extent  armed  with  Snider  and  Martini-Henry  rifles, 
and  when  falling  back  with  great  loss  before  a  sortie 
made  by  the  resolute  but  slender  garrison,  and 
continually  dismounting  to  pick  up  their  killed  and 
wounded,  they  nevertheless  held  their  ground  till 
the  descending  night  enabled  them  to  bear  away 
all  their  fallen,  leaving  behind  them  one  hundred 
dead  or  disabled  horses. 

The  loss  on  the  Colonial  side  was  only  four 
wounded.  The  enemy  remained  in  sight  of  the 
Residency,  and  without  attacking ;  but  communi- 
cation was  entirely  cut  off  with  Maseru,  and  Cap- 
tain H.  S.  Montague,  of  the  Mounted  Rifles,  who 
volunteered  to  carrydespatches  after  the  engagement, 
got  safely  through,  but  was  fired  upon  near  the  Free 
State  border  by  the  Basutos,  who  challenged  him. 

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On  the  15th  October  Colonel  Carrington  de- 
stroyed the  enemy's  position  in  front  of  Mafeteng, 
and  the  Colonial  forces  had  subsequently  an 
engagement  with  about  1,000  Basutos,  and  com- 
pletely routed  them,  after  a  very  spirited  encounter. 

acquired.  This  was  not  done  without  protest 
Warnings  appeared  in  the  newspapers,  and  all  who 
knew  the  Kaffirs  were  uneasy." 

A  war  of  race  seemed  to  be  infecting  all  the 
native  tribes  at  this  time.     In  a  kind  of  people's 


A  great  mistake  was  committed  at  an  early 
period  by  the  Cape  Government  in  not  prohibiting 
the  sale  of  firearms  among  the  natives.  "The 
Government,"  says  Sir  A.  Cunynghame,  "blinded 
by  a  desire  to  secure  cheap  labour,  allowed  the 
natives  to  arm,  until  at  least  400,000  muskets  and 
rifles,  some   of   them    breechloaders,    had    been 

parliament  held  by  the  Basutos,  "  a  seeming  bar- 
barian, strangely  garbed  in  blanketing,  jack-boots, 
and  feathers,  with  umbrella  in  one  hand  and 
assegai  in  the  other,"  made  a  long  speech,  the 
details  of  which  proved  that  he  read  the  news- 
papers, and  was  not  ignorant  of  the  existence  of  the 
Aborigines  Protection  Society. 

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"  The  fault  the  Cape  Government  finds  in  us,"  he 
remarked,  "is  that  we  are  black;  and  a  member 
of  that  Government  said  in  Parliament  that  we  are 
the  natural  enemies  of  the  white  because  we  are 
blacL  Is  this  the  language  which  should  be  used 
by  a  gentieman  and  a  high  official  ?  What  would 
they  say  of  it  in  England  and  in  Exeter  Hall  ?" 

It  was  the  Tyali  sept  of  the  Tambookies  which 
combined  with  the  Basutos  in  the  insurrection. 

The  Basutos  permitted  Clarke's  relieving  force  to 
advance  some  eight  miles  into  their  country,  but 
instead  of  venturing  upon  a  pitched  battle,  con- 
tented themselves  with  cutting  off  a  detachment  of 
troops  that  found  itself  separated  from  the  main  body, 
and  (according  to  the  Standard)  killing  twenty-six 
and  wounding  ten  more,  "a  list  of  casualties  very 
unusual  in  Kaffir  warfare,  and  quite  sufficient  to  make 
the  Basutos  consider  the  engagement  a  victory." 


Towards  the  end  of  September,  1,200  Basutos 
attacked  a  place  called  Mohale's  Hoek,  and  next 
day  5,000  again  assailed  Mafeteng.  Fighting  con- 
tinued all  day  at  both  places,  but  eventually  the 
enemy  were  repulsed,  and  again,  as  elsewhere,  the 
losses  of  the  Cape  Mounted  Rifles  were  trivial. 

The  latter  place  was  relieved  by  a  force  under 
Colonel  Clarke,  with  a  loss,  according  to  the 
official  account,  of  thirty-two  killed  and  ten 
wounded.  Clarke  increased  Carrington's  little 
garrison  by  1,600  Europeans,  with  two  pieces  of 
cannon  and  a  store  of  provisions;  but  the  combined 
force  was  in  danger  of  losing  its  basis  of  communi- 
cation with  the  Orange  Free  State  and  Natal 

Mafeteng,  the  scene  of  these  operations,  is  a 
few  miles  from  the  Boer  frontier,  and  after  the 
relief  Colonel  Clarke  could  not  at  once  leave 
Basutoland,  as  his  departure,  whatever  the  cause, 
would  be  ascribed  to  inability  to  carry  on  the  war 
in  the  enemy's  countr)',  and  be  a  signal  for  an 
immense  extension  of  the  then  area  of  hostilities. 

The  whole  of  the  Cape  Mounted  Rifles,  some  650 
strong,  were  now  in  Basutoland.  One  wing,  under 
Carrington,  was  partly  shut  up  in  Mafeteng;  the 
other  was  with  Colonel  Bayley,  their  leader,  at 
Maseru.  Each  of  these  was  a  magistrate's  station, 
containing  several  buildings,  capable,  if  loopholed 
and  entrenched,  as  they  were,  of  being  defended. 

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[Golah  Moontain. 

In  October  the  Basutos  attacked  Bayley's 
position,  and  after  fifteen  hours'  firing  compelled 
the  Colonial  troops  to  take  shelter,  in  two  de- 
tachments, in  the  Resident's  house  and  the 
extemporised  fort  which  adjoined  it  In  the 
former  were  300  Rifles;  in  the  latter  a  dozen 
European  citizens,  and  some  200  loyal  Basutos — 
doubtful  allies  to  men  fighting  for  their  lives 
against  kindred  savages. 

The  enemy  attempted  to  carry  both  buildings  by 
storm,  and  under  cover  of  night  fought  their  way 
to  within  thirty  yards  of  the  walls,  without  success. 
They  succeeded,  however,  in  reducing  all  the 
adjacent  buildings  to  ashes,  and  leaving  the  station 
shrouded  in  smoke  and  sheeted  with  flame,  carried 
off"  all  the  stores  they  could  lay  hands  oa 

After  Colonel  Clarke  did  eventually  move,  for  the 
purpose  of  operating  against  the  Tembus,  Colonel 
Carrington,  who  had  resumed  the  command  of  the 
Mafeteng  column,  issued  firom  that  place  early  in 
the  morning  of  the  loth  November,  1880,  with  the 
view  of  forcing  the  enemy  to  engage,  and  he 
marched  in  the  direction  of  Maseru. 

On  the  following  day  the  column  entered  the 
picturesque  Sochalo  Valley,  and  encamped;  and 
during  the  12th  the  adjacent  country,  which  is 
elevated  and  rugged,  like  all  Basutoland,  was 
scoured  and  reconnoitred 

Information  having  reached  the  colonel  that  the 
enemy  was  in  force  at  the  Golah  Mountain,  six 
miles  from  the  camp,  every  available  man  was 
ordered  to  the  front  to  carry  the  positioa  For 
four  miles  the  column  advanced  without  opposition, 
till  it  entered  a  valley  overlooked  by  low  hills, 
some  of  which  were  studded  with  scraggy  bushes. 

Then,  with  loud  yells,  the  enemy,  who  had  been 
lurking  under  the  hill  ridges  (and  undetected 
apparently  by  any  mounted  scouts),  charged  down 
simultaneously  on  Carrington's  front  and  both  his 

The  larger  body,  estimated  at  2,000  men,  dashed 
upon  the  right  flank  with  vengeful  fury,  and  com- 
pelled the  2nd  Regiment  of  Yeomanry  to  recoil 
upon  its  supports.  There,  however,  they  rallied, 
and  closing  their  ranks,  spurred  furiously,  and 
charging  sword  in  hand,  drove  back  the  enemy 
with  terrible  slaughter,  hewing  them  down  right 
and  left.  So  close  did  these  naked  or  half-clad 
Basutos  come,  that  twelve  of  their  dead  lay  within 
twenty-five  yards  of  Carrington's  front 

The  Cape  Town  Volunteers,  with  a  gun,  under 
Captain  Cochrane,  rendered  great  assistance  on  this 

The  number  of  the  enemy  which  charged  the 
left,  numbered  about  800  only,  but  they,  too,  forced 

the  3rd  Yeomanry  to  fall  back,  huddling  them  in 
wild  confusion  among  their  supports,  with  whom 
"  they  were  at  one  time  actually  mixed  up ; "  but  a 
captain,  named  Minto,  succeeded  in  rallying  them, 
and  drove  the  Basutos  back. 

The  charge  upon  the  front,  or  head,  of  the 
column  was  repulsed  by  a  dose  artillery  fire,  and 
then  the  whole  Basuto  force  galloped  fiiriously 
back  to  their  first  position  along  the  ridges  of 
Golah  Mountaia 

Several  efforts  were  made  to  lure  them  down 
into  the  open  level,  but  without  avail  For  two 
hours  the  column  remained  on  the  ground,  thinking 
to  achieve  this  purpose,  and  then  began  its  march 
back  to  camp  in  the  Sochalo  Valley,  which  was 
reached  unopposed  about  half-past  four  in  the 

The  enemy's  loss  was  never  ascertained,  but  was 
supposed  to  have  been  very  severe,  owing  to  the 
close  quarters  they  obtained  in  the  fury  of  their 
charges.  As  usual,  most  of  the  dead  were  carried 
or  dragged  out  of  the  field ;  but  a  great  number  of 
bridles  and  saddles,  covered  with  blood,  were 
found  on  it     The  Colonial  losses  were  only  six. 

The  hitherto  loyal  Basutos  of  the  Leribe  district 
had  now  joined  their  fellows,  and  rose  in  open 
rebellion  against  us.  Major  Bell,  their  magistrate, 
telegraphed  on  the  8th  November  that  a  large  force 
of  them,  "  led  by  Joel  and  other  chief  Basutos,  had 
attacked  his  Residency.  The  fighting  lasted  two 
hours,  during  which  three  of  the  Colonial  force 
were  seriously  wounded;  while  the  enemy  lost 
severely,  seventeen  of  their  chief  people  having  been 
left  dead  on  the  field." 

They  were  successful,  however,  in  driving  off"  all 
the  cattle.  Jonathan  Molappo,  a  chief  who  always 
professed  great  loyalty  to  the  Queen,  arrived  at  the 
head  of  his  men,  but  contrived  to  do  so  when  too 
late  to  be  of  service ;  and  on  the  i  ith.  Major  Bell 
reported  that  Joel  had  captured  the  Sickwane 
Mountain,  which  Jonathan  was  supposed  to  have 
strongly  fortified  on  behalf  of  the  authorities. 
Various  encounters  now  ensued  on  every  hand, 
while  Ferreira's  and  the  Diamond  Field  Horse 
marched  vi^  the  Orange  Free  State  to  the  succour 
of  Major  BelL 

Mr.  Ayliff;  with  fifty  Europeans  and  seventy 
Fingoes,  attacked  the  rebel  Bomvana  in  his  kraal 
on  the  13th,  and  drove  out  with  the  bayonet  300 
Basutos,  and  although  compelled  at  one  period  to 
fall  back,  it  was  only  to  gain  time;  for  in  the 
second  attack  he  utterly  routed  the  party,  and 
slew  forty-three,  while  on  his  own  side  he  had 
only  two  wounded. 

Captain  Landry,  with  200  men,  on  the  loth  had 

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encounta^d  more  than  i,ooo  Basutos  on  the 
boundary  of  Tembuland,  and  routed  them,  with  the 
loss  of  ten  killed  and  one  of  the  Colonial  force,  a 
Captain  Blackway.  In  a  second  encounter  Captain 
Von  Linsingen,  CM.G.,hisson,  and  three  troopers, 
were  killed 

The  early  days  of  December  found  the  inde- 
fatigable Carrington  still  patrolling,  and  scouring 
the  country  around  his  perilous  post  at  Mafeteng. 
On  the  ist  his  camp  had  been  attacked,  but  after 
an  hour's  fighting  the  Basutos  were  repulsed,  but 
not  before  they  had  wounded  some  of  his  mea 
Six  days  after,  he  began  a  seven  days'  patrol  Large 
bodies  of  the  dusky  enemy  came  in  sight  the 
moment  he  quitted  his  camp,  and  an  exciting  race 
ensued  to  obtain  possession  of  a  dominating  ridge. 
They  met  face  to  face  on  the  summit,  but  Carring- 
ton's  men  held  the  position.  The  fighting  was 
severe  while  it  lasted.  Several  of  the  Kimberley 
Horse  suflfered,  and  Captain  Bremner  of  that  corps 
died  of  his  wounds.  This  was  a  corps  raised  in 
Kimberley,  the  seat  of  Government  in  Griqualand 
West  and  the  Diamond  Fields. 

A  dreadful  storm  of  great  hailstones  came  on, 
and  under  cover  of  it  the  Basutos  made  a  dash  at  the 
commissariat  cattle,  attacking  the  camp  and  pressing 
on  the  pickets,  but  were  driven  off  after  an  hour's 
conflict,  leaving  traces  of  blood  everywhere  upon 
the  whitened  ground. 

During  these  operations  Surgeon  John  Frederick 
McCrea,  of  the  ist  Regiment  of  Cape  Mounted 
Yeomanry,  obtained  the  Victoria  Cross,  "for  his 
conspicuous  bravery  during  the  severely  contested 
engagement  with  the  Basutos  on  the  14th  January, 
1 88 1, at  Tweefontein,  near  Thaba  Tseu,  when,  after 
the  enemy  had  charged  the  Burghers  in  the  most 
determined  manner,  forcing  them  to  retire  with  a 
loss  of  sixteen  killed  and  twenty-one  wounded, 
Surgeon  McCrea  went  out  for  some  distance  under 
a  heavy  fire,  and  with  the  assistance  of  Captain 
Buxton,  of  the  Mafeteng  Contingent,  conveyed  a 
wounded  Burgher,  named  Aircamp,  to  the  shelter 
of  a  large  ant-heap,  and  having  placed  him  in  a 
position  of  safety,  returned  to  the  ambulance  for 
a  stretcher.  While  on  his  way  thither.  Surgeon 
McCrea  was  severely  wounded  in  the  right  breast 
by  a  bullet,  notwithstanding  which  he  continued  to 
perform  his  duties  at  the  ambulance,  and  again 
assisted  to  bring  in  several  wounded  men,  con- 
tinuing afterwards  to  attend  them  during  the 
remainder  of  the  day,  and  scarcely  taking  time  to 
dress  his  own  wound,  which  he  Was  obliged  to  do 
himself,  there  being  no  other  medical  officer  on  the 
field  Had  it  not  been  for  his  gallantry  and  devo- 
tion to  his  duty,  the  sufferings  of  the  wounded 

would  undoubtedly  have  been  much  aggravated, 
And  greater  loss  of  life  might  probably  have  en- 
sued" •  ( 

There  were  nearly  1,000  Burghers  under  Car- 
rington about  the  end  of  January.  They  refused 
to  serve  longer,  contending  that  their  legal  term  of 
service  had  expired;  and,  as  neither  flogging  nor 
shooting  was  allowed  under  the  regulations  of  their 
service,  the  colonel  had  no  means  whatever  of 
enforcing  discipline,  and  many  began  to  leave. 
Some  of  these  men  were  Dutch,  and  the  growing 
troubles  in  the  Transvaal  increased  their  reluctance 
to  remain. 

Prior  to  some  of  these  events  in  the  neighbour- 
hood of  Mafeteng,  a  terrible  tragedy  had  taken 
place  in  Griqualand  East,  in  consequence  of  the 
proposed  arming  and  enrolment  of  the  Pondomise 
for  British  service.  There,  north-eastward  of  the 
Umtata  River,  lay  the  countries  of  Umhonholo 
and  Umditswa,  chiefs  of  that  tribe.  The  Resident 
with  the  former  was  a  Mr.  Hope,  and  with  the 
latter  a  Mr.  Walsh.  When  the  war  broke  out  with 
the  Basutos,  chiefly  owing  to  the  attempt  of  the  Cape 
Government  to  disarm  them,  Mr.  Hamilton  Hope 
was  requested  by  the  Cabinet  to  raise  a  native  con- 
tingent of  Umhonholo's  Pondomise,  to  assist  in  the 
prosecution  of  the  contest 

The  chief  at  first  declined,  and  then  consented 
to  enrol  1,000  men  if  arms  and  ammunition  were 
furnished  him;  so  Mr.  Hope  procured  him  500 
Martini-Henry  rifles  and  18,000  rounds  of  ball 
cartridge,  and  a  day  was  named  to  prepare  the 
force  for  the  field  after  the  practice  of  certain 
heathen  rites.  Two  European  clerks,  named 
Warren  and  Henman,  were  to  be  the  chief  officers, 
and  on  the  day  appointed  they  proceeded  to  Mr. 
Hope's  house,  at  a  place  named  QuembiL 

Before  the  arming,  Umhonholo  invited  them  and 
Mr.  Hope  to  witness  the  war-dance  of  the  tribe ; 
and  Mr.  Hope,  having  some  intuitive  dread  of  mis- 
chief, told  the  clerks  not  to  accompany  him  unless 
they  chose.  "  I  must  myself  attend,"  said  he ;  "  it 
is  now  too  late  for  me  to  go  back;  besides,  my  orders 
are  urgent  that  this  contingent  should  be  raised" 

However,  they  insisted  upon  attending  him  to 
Umhonholo's  "  great  place"  to  see  the  war-dance. 
With  them  was  Mr.  Davis,  whose  farm  was  near. 
The  dance  began  by  the  savages  closing  round 
Hope,  Warren,  and  Henman  in  a  circle,  while 
Davis  was  drawn  aside  by  the  chief.  The  moment 
he  was  gone,  the  three  other  Europeans  were 
murdered.  Mr.  Hope  was  seized  by  the  beard, 
and  a  spear-head  was  buried  in  his  heart      His 

*  London  GatetU, 

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two  clerks  were  tossed  into  the  air,  and  then  re- 
ceived on  spears  as  they  descended,  while  the 
savage  war-cry  rent  the  sky. 

Mr.  Davis  made  his  escape  in  safety,  but  prior  to 
doing  so  asked  the  chief  why  he  permitted  this 
barbarous  act ;  and  his  reply  was  that  he  **  wanted 
to  kill  Government,  as  it  was  getting  too  strong  for 
him ;"  but  doubtless,  whatever  were  his  secret  in- 
tentions, the  sight  of  the  fine  new  rifles  and 
ammunition  had  been  tempting,  and  inspired  the 
desire  for  resistance 

Next  day  saw  all  the  stations  and  trading  stores 
in  the  land  of  the  Pondomise  given  to  the  flames, 
and  the  Europeans  flying  for  their  lives  to  Umtata, 
which  takes  its  name  from  the  river,  there  flowing 
through  gorges  full  of  fine  trees,  uplands  that  are 
rich  in  grass,  and  a  thick  forest  and  bush. 

There  a  laager  was  made  under  Major  Elliot, 
the  chief  magistrate ;  a  meeting  was  formed ;  a 
volunteer  corps  enrolled — every  white  man  who 
could  serve  joining  it — ^and  all  available  arms  and 
ammunition  were  collected  and  distributed  There 
were,  however,  only  twenty  muskets  for  250  men. 

All  day  long  the  terrified  fugitives  came  pouring 
into  Umtata,  with  their  wives  and  families,  and 
ere  long,  to  the  horror  of  those  in  the  laager,  the 
dark  forms  of  the  Kaffirs  began  to  hover  on  the 
hills  above  it,  Umhonholo  having  now  joined  in 
the  rebellion,  with  all  the  Basutos  on  the  east  side 
of  the  Drakensberg  Range. 

Near  Umtata  stood  a  few  houses  about  a  mile 
distant  from  each  other,  and  on  these  the  Kaffirs 
descended,  pillaging  and  destroying  everything, 
without  the  fugitive  owners  being  able  to  prevent 

At  last,  says  an  eye-witness,  "flesh  and  blood 
would  stand  the  sight  no  longer,"  and  in  the  even- 
ing a  party  of  twenty  crossed  the  Umtata  and 
bravely  attacked  the  Kaffirs,  though  more  than 
twenty  to  one,  and  compelled  them  to  fly,  leaving 
all  their  plunder  behind  them. 

Major  Elliot  now  formed  three  little  corps  of 
mounted  men — one  to  act  as  an  intelligence  corps, 
and  the  other  two  for  garrison  duty.  They  were 
young  men,  well  horsed  and  equipped,  could 
shoot  to  perfection,  and  were  exasperated  by  the 
loss  of  all  they  possessed.  Their  orders  were  to 
scout  day  and  night,  and  discover  the  operations 
of  the  enemy — a  duty  in  which  they  had  many 
narrow  escapes.  They  were  commanded  by  an 
ex-sergeant  of  the  Cape  Mounted  Rifles. 

The  other  corps  were  composed  of  the  European 
inhabitants  of  the  Umtata  district,  with  a  few 
trustworthy  Hottentots.  One  was  commanded  by 
an  old  sergeant  of  Police,  and  the  other  by  a  clerk 

of  Major  Elliot's.  A  week  after  the  outbreak  the 
laager  was  complete.  The  waggons  were  all  placed 
round  it ;  boards  eight  feet  high  were  secured 
outside  them,  with  loopholes.  The  Kaffirs  still 
threatened  Umtata,  but  did  not  attack  it,  and  afcer 
the  arrival  of  an  ample  supply  of  rifles,  ammuni- 
tion, a  party  of  the  Cape  Mounted  Rifles,  and 
some  Volunteer  Artillery,  the  post  and  people 
were  considered  safe. 

Meanwhile,  Mr.  Walsh,  the  resident  magistrate 
with  the  other  chief,  Umditswa,  at  Tsolo,  had  taken 
refuge  in  his  gaol,  and  had  fortified  himself  therein, 
with  a  small  supply  of  food  and  300  rounds  of 
ball  cartridge,  resolved  to  sell  his  life  as  dearly  as 
possible ;  and  to  effect  his  release  at  any  cost  was 
deemed  necessary.  With  him  were  thirty-four 
men,  women,  and  children. 

Negotiations  were  set  on  foot  with  a  chief  named 
Umquiliso,  to  ascertain  whether  he  would  assist, 
though  it  was  doubtful  whether  he  could  be  trusted, 
as  he  had  already  allowed  all  the  traders  under 
his  protection  to  be  pillaged  and  their  houses  to  be 
burned.  It  was  shrewdly  suspected  he  might  only 
temporise  to  procure  a  supply  of  arms,  and  then 
destroy  the  relief  party  en  route;  so  Major  Elliot 
resolved  to  entrust  the  duty  to  his  Volunteers  alone. 

Sue  of  these  were  selected  from  the  Intelligence 
Corps,  and  with  them  went  a  brave  missionary 
named  Morris,  whose  intimate  knowledge  of  the 
language  and  habits  of  the  savages  would  be  foimd 
most  useful 

From  the  smallness  of  the  party,  and  the 
numbers  and  ferocity  of  those  they  might  have  to 
contend  with,  all  in  Umtata  felt  the  expedition  to 
be  of  a  dangerous  character,  and  there  were  few 
chances  of  its  proving  successful 

Mr.  Granville,  the  leader,  on  the  way  made  prisoner 
one  of  Umquiliso's  chief  councillors,  and  kept  him 
as  a  hostage  for  that  personage,  who  joined  him 
next  with  150  Pondos;  but  that  mischief  impended 
was  evident,  by  the  war-cry  being  heard  in  the 
woods,  while  bodies  of  mounted  natives  were 
galloping  to  Umditswa's  kraal  as  to  a  general 
muster  place.  After  many  diflSculties  and  perils 
Mr.  Granville  reached  Tsolo,  and  brought  out 
Mr.  Walsh,  hb  wife,  daughter,  and  seven  children, 
with  the  other  Europeans,  and  placing  them  in  a 
waggon  "ready  spanned,"  into  which  the  cattle 
were  traced,  set  out  at  once  for  Umtata,  with  the 
unpleasant  knowledge  that  Umhonholo's  people 
were  collecting  to  attack  and  cut  off  the  whole 

However,  so  skilful  were  his  arrangements,  so 
rapid  his  movements,  and  so  bold  was  his  bearing, 
that  though  delayed  at  St  Paul's  by  a  terrible 

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thanderstonn,  and  with  the  enemy  hovering  about 
him  in  a  menacing  way  in  every  direction,  he 
brought  the  whole  safely  into  Umtata,  after  an 
absence  of  exactly  fifty  hours,  during  which  time 
he  had  travelled  fifty-eight  miles. 

A  large  force  of  Europeans  had  now  been  raised 
in  Cape  Colony  and  Natal  These  were  concen- 
trated towards  Umtata,  and  quickly  cleared  the 
country  of  rebels.  In  February,  1881,  there  were 
no  less  than  15,000  white  men  in  the  field.  Im- 
mense numbers  of  cattle  were  captured,  and  num- 
bers of  the  enemy  killed  in  casual  skirmishes  and 

Hemmed  in  on  every  side,  Umditswa  gave  him- 
self up ;  Umhonholo  fled,  and  reached  the  moun- 
tains, after  a  ftitile  encounter  with  Colonel  Baker's 
Horse,  in  which  he  was  severely  wounded,  and  had 
300  of  his  men  killed.  After  this,  Umquiliso  and 
smother  Pondo  chief  promised  to  give  all  their  aid 
to  the  Government. 

At  another  point,  early  in  January,  1881,  the 
Colonial  forces,  under  Colonel  Wavell  and  Com- 
mandant Frost,  gained  a  victory  over  the  Tam- 
bookies,  slew  80,  and  captured  8,000  cattle  and 
5,000  sheep — their  herds  being  always  the  chief 
and  most  valuable  property  of  the  natives.  The 
British  casualties  were  only  four  men  wounded. 

By  the  i8th  of  February  Commandant  Frost 
reported  that  the  war  was  over  in  Tembuland, 
and  that  all  was  "  now  becoming  a  matter  for  the 

Early  in  the  month  great  numbers  of  the  rebel 
Basutos,  eastward  of  the  Drakensberg,  a  name 
given  to  a  portion  of  the  Quathlamba  Mountains 
that  form  the  boundary  between  Natal,  the  Free 
State,  and  Basutoland,  seeing  the  hopelessness  of 
the  strife,  began  to  lay  down  their  arms  and  sur- 
render ;  and  by  the  Government  it  was  announced 
that  all  who  submitted  to  authority  "might  expect 
not  only  justice,  but  generosity." 

Nevertheless,  on  the  13th  of  February,  Colonel 
Carrington,  by  a  brilliant  dash,  captured  a  strong 
position,  which  gave  him,  with  guns  and  cavalry, 
the  entire  command  of  the  road  as  far  as  the 
Boleka  Ridge,  from  Mafeteng,  half  way  to  Morija. 
Around  the  ridge,  on  which  he  encamped,  were 
rich  crops  that  he  completely  destroyed.  En- 
raged, no  doubt,  by  this,  one  of  his  advanced 
patrols,  consisting  of  560  men  with  three  guns, 
was  attacked  in  a  resolute  manner  by  3,000  rebels, 
who  were  routed,  as  usual,  with  severe  loss.  An 
armistice,  commenced  that  day  at  sunrise,  ended 
on  the  24th,  and  the  26th  of  March  saw  fighting 
recommenced  bitterly  at  Boleka  and  two  places 
called  Leribe  and  Maseru  in  Basutoland.     At  the 

first-named  the  conflict  lasted  no  less  than  six 
hours,  and  in  it  Colonel  Carrington  was  wounded. 
The  natives  were  strongly  entrenched  on  the 
mountain  of  Boleka,  which  rises  some  twenty  miles 
from  Mafeteng,  and  overlooks  the  village  of 
Letzea,  where  skirmishes  had  occurred  many  times 
before.  In  the  petty  fight  at  Leribe  Mountain 
Major  Laurence  was  killed. 

At  Maseru  no  important  advance  had  been  made 
since  the  war  began,  the  garrison  there  having 
been  almost  constantly  beset  by  the  enemy. 

The  three  encounters  at  these  various  places 
were  all  indecisive ;  but  the  Basutos  contrived  to 
sweep  away  190  horses,  and  the  same  number  of 
cattle  from  General  Clarke,  who  commanded  at 
the  front,  and  thus  crippled  the  operations  of  his 

But  the  war  was  dying  away  in  Basutoland, 
and  enough  has  been  recorded  to  show  the  de- 
structive, toilsome,  and  desultory  nature  of  it: 
"handfuls''  of  white  men,  often  isolated,  standing 
the  siege  of  thousands  of  blacks,  driving  them  off 
the  open  field,  in  every  case  inflicting  serious  losses 
on  the  enemy,  while  marvellously  few  suffering 
themselves,  save  in  one  notable  instance — the  sur- 
prise of  some  Yeomanry  at  the  Kalibane  Hill, 
where  they  had  been  sent  too  far  forward  without 
supports,  and  met  with  slaughter  when  the  Basutos 
got  among  them  with  assegai  and  battle-axe,  a 
weapon  which  the  papers  mention  in  this  instance 
for  the  first  time. 

Letherodi,  who  was  among  the  first  to  throw 
down  the  gauntlet,  began  early  to  profess  anxiety  to 
make  his  submission ;  and  Letsea,  a  paramount 
chief,  whose  attitude  had  been  long  very  equivocal, 
began  to  protest  his  unswerving  loyalty ;  and  so  the 
war,  which  was  never  popular  at  home,  where 
people  could  not  forget  that  the  Basutos  had  at 
one  time  done  us  good  service,  fortunately  ended, 
and  a  treaty  of  peace  was  concluded  with  them  in 
the  end  of  April,  1881,  they  agreeing  to  accept  the 
terms  offered  them  by  the  Governor  of  Cape 

The  Disarming  Act,  the  original  cause  of  all  the 
mischief,  was  nominally  to  remain  in  force ;  but 
all  Basutos  who  could  be  safely  entrusted  with  the 
possession  of  their  arms  were  to  have  them  regis- 
tered, and  returned,  on  paying  a  licence  of  a  pound 

Full  value  was  to  be  paid  for  every  musket 
surrendered — which  was  always  done  reluctantly,  for 
a  reason  that  has  been  excellently  stated  in  words 
that  may  be  quoted  here.  "  A  Basuto  warrior," 
says  the  writer,  "  loves  his  gun,  wretched  weapon 
though  it  generally  is,  with  a  depth  of  affection 

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which  we  in  this  country  cannot  realise.  It  is 
dearer  to  him  than  parents,  wife,  and  family,  and 
only  when  utterly  subdued  will  he  consent  to  its 

form  of  s,ooo  head  of  cattle.  There  was  to  be  a 
general  amnesty,  but  no  confiscation  of  land.  The 
standard  of  weights  and  measures  was  to  be  the 


surrender."  Loyal  natives  and  traders  who  had 
suffered  in  the  war  were  to  be  compensated  by  the 
tribes  responsible ;  all  Government  property  cap- 
tured was  to  be  returned,  and  a  fine  paid  in  the 

same  as  in  Cape  Colony.  This  arrangement  ig- 
nored all  the  previous  demands  of  the  Government 
upon  the  Basutos,  and  conceded  all  that  was  asked 
for  by  the  latter  before  the  war  broke  out 



We  now  enter  upon  the  story  of  a  more  noble  and 
stirring  strife  than  any  detailed  in  the  eight  preced- 
ing chapters — a  strife  in  which  hard  battles  were 
brilliantly  fought  with  fierce  and  hardy  enemies,  and 
in  most  instances  won;  in  which  a  march  was  made 
by  Roberts  and  his  gallant  column  second  to  none 
in  the  annals  of  war,  and  in  which  a  rich  reward  of 
glory  and  Victoria  Crosses  was  gathered 

We  have  already*  described  the  character  of  the 
Afghan  people,  and  how  the  constitution  of  their 
tribes  resembled  that  of  the  Scottish  Highlanders 
till  the  early  part  of  the  last  century.  It  has  been 
well  said  that  "  These  followers  are  perfectly  true  to 
their  chiefs,  and  they  remind  one  very  much  of 

♦  Vol.  III.,  chap.  V. 

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what  a  chief  and  his  clan  were  in  the  Highlands  of 
Scotland  in  other  days,  A  chief  in  this  part  of  the 
world  rules  over  a  valley,  just  as  the  Highland  chief 
ruled  in  a  wild  Highland  glen.  A  khan  here  has 
his  armed  men,  who  go  out  with  him  when  he 
moves  about,  ready  to  do  whatever  they  are  told, 
and  ask  no  questions  why  or  wherefore.  *The 
Macgregor'  or  *The  Macpherson'  was  the  same. 
Here  we  have  physical  geography  producing  similar 
social  and  political  conditions  in  far  distant  parts  of 
the  world." 

Afghanistan  is  the  natural  barrier  of  India,  and 
for  such  a  purpose  no  country  could  be  better 
adapted,  consisting,  as  it  does,  for  the  most  part  of 
bleak  and  rugged  tableland,  overlooked  by  stupen- 
dous mountain  ranges,  intersected  by  savage  passes 
and  deep  and  precipitous  ravines,  only  by  means 
of  which  an  invading  army  can  force  its  way  to  the 
banks  of  the  Indus.  "To  such  a  march,"  says 
Bremner,  in  his  "History  of  India,"  "even  unop- 
posed, the  physical  obstacles  were  all  but  insur- 
mountable; but  when  to  these  was  added  the 
hostility  of  a  population  proud  of  freedom,  full  of 
courage,  and  accustomed  to  war  and  pillage  as  their 
daily  occupation,  the  invasion  of  India  by  a  forced 
passage  through  Afghanistan  was  an  obvious  im- 
possibility. It  is  true,  no  doubt,  that  on  more  than 
one  occasion  conquering  armies  have  marched  from 
that  quarter;  but  there  is  reason  to  believe  that  they 
never  would  have  succeeded  had  they  not  previously 
purchased  the  aid,  or,  at  least,  the  forbearance,  of 
the  mountain  tribes  commanding  the  passes." 

Another  feature  in  the  strength  of  that  frontier 
was  obviously  our  retention  of  Candahar  as  a 
barrier  fortress.  The  Afghans  are  fanatical  Mo- 
hammedans, turbulent,  warlike,  and  so  averse  from 
every  kmd  of  control,  that  they  once  said  to  the 
traveller,  Mountstuart  Elphinstone,  "  We  are  con- 
tent with  discord,  we  are  content  with  alarms,  and 
we  are  content  with  blood ;  but  we  will  never  be 
content  with  a  master." 

The  land  has  seen  many  revolutions,  and  has 
been  sometimes  divided  under  two  Ameers— one 
ruling  in  Cabul,  and  the  other  southward  in 

In  1869  the  entire  country  was  governed — if  it 
can  be  so  said — by  Shere  Ali,  one  of  the  sons  of 
Dost  Mohammed  Khan,  against  whom  we  fought 
victoriously  in  1842.  Lord  Mayo,  the  Viceroy  of 
India,  consented  to  have  an  interview  with  him  in 
the  following  year  at  Umballa,  when  the  Ameer 
requested  that  we  should  do  more  in  support  of 
him  and  his  claims  than  the  British  Government 
had  hitherto  deemed  prudent  He  returned  home 
in  a  very  dissatisfied  frame  of  mind,  for  he  feared 

the  advances  of  Russia  across  the  deserts  of 
Central  Asia,  and  it  had  been  his  wish  to  obtain 
our  support  against  both  foreign  and  domestic 
enemies ;  and  from  that  time  he  became  open  to 
the  advances  of  Russia. 

In  1873,  Lord  Northbrook  re-opened  negotiations 
with  Shere  Ali,  with  whose  prime  minister,  Noor 
Mohammed,  he  had  interview  at  Simla,  and  the 
latter  strove  to  obtain  a  definite  assurance  that  his 
master  might  rely  on  Britain  if  he  were  menaced 
by  Russia.  Meeting,  however,  with  little  en- 
couragement, the  Ameer  became  more  suspicious 
and  uneasy,  and  he  entered  into  a  correspondence 
with  General  KaufTmann,  the  Russian  officer  com- 
manding in  Central  Asia,  and  displayed  in  many 
ways  an  unfriendly  feeling  towards  us. 

In  1877  he  resolutely  refused  the  project  for 
admitting  a  British  Resident  at  his  Court,  for  three 
reasons :  first,  the  persons  of  British  subjects  would 
not  be  safe — as  the  event  proved ;  secondly,  they 
might  make  demands  that  would  occasion  quarrels; 
thirdly,  if  British  agents  were  admitted,  Russia 
would  demand  the  same  privilege. 

Prior  to  all  this,  in  1872,  an  arrangement  had 
been  entered  into  between  Lord  Granville  and 
Prince  Gortschakoff,  by  which  Afghanistan  was 
declared  to  be  "  outside  the  sphere  within  which 
Russia  should  be  called  upon  to  exercise  her 
influence."  The  Oxus  was  laid  down  as  the 
boundary  of  the  territories  of  the  Ameers  of 
Bokhara  and  Afghanistan,  and  of  the  legitimate 
influence  of  Russia  and  Great  Britain ;  and  thus  a 
limit  was  set  for  a  time  to  the  restless  ambition  of 
General  Kauffmann.  But  this  did  not  prevent  him, 
in  1878 — the  period  of  which  we  now  treat,  and 
when  the  two  empires  were  "  diplomatically  at  war  " 
— from  sending  the  fatal  Stoletoff  Mission  to 
CabuL  "We  have  thus,"  says  Geddie,  "to 
thank  him  for  the  cost  and  trouble  of  the  Afghan 
war;  and  the  unfortunate  Shere  Ali,  who  died 
near  the  Oxus  while  fleeing  for  refuge  to  his  faith- 
ful *  friend,'"  also  owed  to  him  the  loss  of  his 

It  was  in  the  summer  of  1878  that  KaufTmann 
sent  an  embassy  on  a  grand  scale,  accompanied  by 
a  military  escort,  from  Samarcand,  a  city  of  Bokhara 
which  Russia  had  seized  about  ten  years  before, 
and  thus  thought  he  had  opened  the  avenue  that 
would  eventually  lead  to  British  India ! 

Government  now  thought  it  time  to  take  pre- 
cautionary measures,  and  Lord  Lytton,  then 
Governor-General,  intimated  to  the  Ameer  through 
a  native,  Gholam  Hussein  Khan,  that  he  intended  to 
send  to  Cabul  a  mission  of  rank,  of  which  General 
Sir  Neville  Bowles  Chamberlain,  K.CB.,  K.S.L, 

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(All  Miuyid. 

was  to  be  the  head  The  latter  started  from 
Peshawur  on  the  21st  of  September,  1878 ;  the  em- 
bassy mustered  nearly  1,000,  including  12  British 
officers  and  234  soldiers.  Arrangements  were  made 
with  the  Afreedies,  a  freebooting  clan,  for  a  safe- 
conduct  as  far  as  the  Afghan  outposts ;  and  Major 
Louis  Cavagnari,  with  a  slender  escort,  preceded 
the  embassy  to  Ali  Musjid  to  arrange  for  further 

At  that  fort,  which  is  just  within  the  Afghan 
frontier,  and  at  the  entrance  to  the  •formidable 
Khyber  Pass,  the  mission  was  turned  back.  The 
officer  in  command  crowned  the  heights  of  the 
pass  with  his  troops,  and  threatened  to  fire,  saying 
that  he  had  no  authority  to  allow  the  mission  to 
proceed;  so,  after  an  interview  of  three  hours' 
duration.  Major  Cavagnari  was  compelled  to  ride 
back  to  Jumrood.  As  Sir  Neville  was  not  in 
sufficient  force  to  attack,  and  moreover,  as  his 
mission  was  not  of  a  hostile  nature,  he  returned 
to  Peshawur. 

A  letter  was  now  sent  to  the  Ameer  demanding 
an  apology  for  the  "  insult "  at  Ali  Musjid,  and  per- 
mission for  the  presence  of  a  British  Resident  at 
Cabul;  and  as  no  answer  came  to  this  ultimatum 
within  the  time  prescribed,  the  Viceroy  formally 
proclaimed  war,  on  the  21st  of  November,  1878. 
A  reply  arrived  several  days  after ;  but  it  was  then 
too  late. 

The  warlike  operations  began  on  the  very  day 
war  was  proclaimed,  by  General  Sir  Samuel  Browne, 
CB.,  advancing  on  Ali  Musjid.  This  distinguished 
officer  had  served  ia  twelve  battles,  including 
Chillianwallah,  and  in  the  attack  and  defeat  of  the 
enemy  at  Seerpoorah  he  had  captured  the  guns  and 
camp,  and  received  two  dangerous  sword  wounds, 
one  of  which  severed  his  left  arm  at  the  shoulder, 
but  won  him  the  Victoria  Cross. 

The  whole  force  under  his  command  wore  karkee 
— a  colour  resembling  drab — which  rendered  them 
all  but  invisible  at  a  little  distance. 

At  six  in  the  morning  of  the  21st  of  November, 
the  3rd  Brigade,  and  part  of  the  4th,  under 
Sir  Samuel  Browne,  marched  to  within  a  mile  and 
three-quarters  of  Ali  Musjid,  and  halted  to  allow  the 
elephant  battery  of  heavy  guns  to  come  up,  the 
brigade  under  Colonel  Macpherson,  operating  on 
the  other  slopes  of  the  Shagai  Hill,  to  clear  certain 
heights  that  commanded  the  advance  on  the  right. 

Browne's  immediate  force  consisted  of  the  51st 
Light  Infantry  and  8ist  Foot;  the  6th  Native  In- 
fantry and  45th  Sikhs,  with  an  elephant  battery  and 
battery  of  mountain  guns. 

On  this  brigade,  which  was  commanded  more 
immediately  by  Colonel  Appleyard,  a  veteran  of  the 

Burmese  and  Crimean  wars,  fell  the  roughest  part 
of  the  work.  "  This  column  was  made  up  of  seven 
companies  from  the  27th  Punjaub  Infantry,  under 
the  gallant  and  lamented  Major  Birch;  100  men 
of  the  14th  Sikhs,  led  by  Captain  Maclean;  and 
three  companies  of  the  8ist  Queen's  Regiment, 
commanded  by  Colonel  Chichester.  Time  had 
been  given  for  the  ist  and  2nd  Brigades  to  get  into 
their  places,  the  latter  starting  over-night,  and  the 
former,  four  hours  before  the  march  of  Appleyard's 

The  scenery  amid  which  the  troops  were  moving 
was  alike  solemn  and  picturesque.  Rising  like  waves 
of  the  sea,  a  succession  of  low  hills  surrounded  Ali 
Musjid,  which  was  perched  upon  one  of  them,  with 
a  space  of  level  field  in  its  front  and  the  bed  of 
the  river  on  its  right  fiank.  It  stood  about  500 
feet  above  the  stream  (one  newspaper  correspon- 
dent says  "only  some  1,000  feet") — a  massive 
Indian  fort,  armed  with  fifteen  guns,  and  com- 
manding the  deep  gorge  of  the  famous  Khyber  Pass, 
and  there  might  be  seen,  even  at  that  exciting  time, 
"men  driving  mules,  threading  their  way,  and 
carrying  the  fruit  of  Cabul  to  India,  and  caring 
nothing  whatever  either  for  the  British  troops  or 
the  Afghans,  unconcerned  with  politics,  so  long  as 
their  grapes  and  tobacco  got  safely  to  the  plains  of 

It  was  built  of  hardened  mud  faced  with  stone ; 
in  shape  an  irregular  parallelogram,  with  a  solid 
round  tower  at  each  comer,  connected  by  a  series 
of  bastions ;  and  in  position  it  sloped  do^vn  the 
eastern  side  of  the  height  it  occupied 

The  Khyber  River  flowed  past  the  front  of  the 
British  position,  and  past  the  village  of  Lalla 
China,  the  scene  of  Cavagnari's  interview  with  Faiz 
Muhammad  about  the  mission. 

With  no  small  skill  the  Ameer's  general  had 
drawn  a  line  of  fortifications  across  the  historical 
pass,  the  natural  advantages  of  which  they  utilised 
with  a  judgment  and  science  that  seemed  to  indi- 
cate a  European  source.  Southward  of  the  moun- 
tain range,  through  a  cleft  in  which  runs  the  Chora 
Pass,  the  lower  spurs  of  the  Khyber  Hills  were  tower- 
ing up,  all  manned  by  the  troops  of  the  Ameer,  and 
connected  with  the  main  line  by  batteries  and  ad- 
vanced posts.  There  the  bright  arms  were  seen 
glittering  in  the  sun,  and  through  the  field-glasses 
might  be  seen  also  the  dark  faces,  the  odd  uniforms, 
and,  in  many  instances,  the  flowing  garments,  of 
the  Afghans. 

The  bugles  sounded ;  and  the  attack  on  Ali  Musjid 
was  commenced,  by  the  8ist  Regiment  and  14th 
Sikhs  throwing  forward  a  line  of  skirmishers  to 
clear  the  villages  and  cover  the  mountain  spur; 

Digitized  by 


AU  M usjid.] 



while  a  battery  of  9-pounders  got  into  position  a 
mile  and  three-quarters  from  AH  Musjid. 

Now  the  fighting  began  in  earnest ;  the  spurts  of 
white  smoke  from  the  line  of  skirmishers  were 
darting  incessantly  forth;  and  when  the  enemy 
opened,  as  they  did  at  once,  upon  our  men  with 
acctiracy  (having  previously  practised  at  the  same 
range),  the  booming  of  the  guns  and  the  crash  of 
exploding  shells  awoke  the  echoes  of  the  hills  on 
every  hand ;  but  the  missiles  passed  through  the 
extended  line  without  doing  much  harm;  while 
our  artillery,  after  some  random  practice,  found 
the  right  range,  and  kept  it  with  deadly  effect 
with  shot  and  shell,  and  ere  long  the  guns  of 
Ali  Musjid  were  completely  silenced;  the  troops 
of  all  arms  b^an  their  triumphant  and  impetuous 
advance,  and  the  deep  hoarse  booming  of  our 
4o-pounder8,  as  they  opened  with  an  acciuate  and 
destructive  fire  upon  the  enemy,  reverberated  from 
hiU  tohilL 

On  coming  in  sight  of  the  advanced  defences  of 
thq  Afghans,  already  referred  to,  amid  the  wild 
mountain  scenery,  the  Sikhs  still  went  forward  in 
skirmishing  order  full  against  the  centre  of  the 
enem3r's  position.  After  pushing  through  one  or 
two  petty  villages,  and  clearing  the  mountain 
scrub  of  lurking  Afghans — ^in  some  instances  by  the 
bayonet — they  came  upon  the  sungahs^  or  strong 
transverse  entrenchments,  and  breastworks,  formed 
of  rough  boulders  and  earth,  held  in  great  strength 
by  A^han  troops,  and  in  one  instance  armed  by 
three  pieces  of  cannon;  and  here  again  serious 
doubts  were  entertained  as  to  whether  the  native 
military  engineers  could  have  constructed  lines  of 
defence  so  well. 

Sharp,  indeed,  was  the  work  that  ensued  now, 
and  the  narrow  gorges  soon  became  shrouded  in 
smoke,  while  the  clatter  of  the  breechloaders  was 
incessant;  and  then  the  Sikhs  lost  their  only 
British  officer,  who  was  struck  by  an  Enfield  bullet, 
while  seven  native  non-commissioned  officers  and 
twenty  rank  and  file  fell  killed  and  wounded. 

Quickly,  and  inspired  by  fiery  valour,  the  27  th 
Punjaubees  came  in  support,  but  under  a  heavy 'fire 
from  the  trenches  and  sungahs  ;  and  though  the 
hour  was  late,  and  evening  closing,  they  were 
tempted,  somewhat  imprudently,  it  is  alleged,  to 
make  a  furious  rush  over  the  broken  ground  at  the 
securely  posted  Afghans.  Had  there  been  one 
more  hour  of  daylight  they  might  have  succeeded, 
and  carried  the  works ;  but  the  fast  waning  light 
was  all  in  favour  of  the  foe,  who  poured  his  rifie 
and  gun-battery  fire  upon  the  assailing  Punjaubees 
with  such  terrible  effect  that  their  casualties  were 
great ;  and  among  them  were  reported  Major  Birch 

and  Lieutenant  Fitzgerald,  the  first  to  give  their 
lives  in  this  campaign.  They  fell  near  one  another, 
within  a  stone's  throw  of  the  muzzles  of  the  Afghan 

Darkness  now  rapidly  descended.  The  bugles 
sounded  the  "retire,"  and  as  the  27th  and  Sikhs 
were  falling  back  reluctantly  from  the  apparently 
impregnable  fort,  the  fire  on  them  was  redoubled, 
and  many  more  killed  and  wounded  were  added  to 
those  who  already  strewed  the  narrow  way. 

The  8ist  (or  Loyal  Lincoln  Volunteers),  which 
had  been  held  in  readiness  to  support  the  attack 
here,  had  no  casualties,  although  within  range. 

Acting  with  the  3rd  Brigade,  and  including  in 
its  ranks  the  51st,  the  4th  Brigade,  with  a  mule- 
battery  of  mountain  guns,  and  the  heavy  40-pounders 
dragged  forward  like  toys  by  a  train  of  elephants, 
had  been  sharply  engaged  meanwhile  upon  the 
British  right,  and  pushed  forward  under  a  heavy 
fire  of  musketry ;  but  the  movement  was  so  scien- 
tifically made,  and  the  necessary  ground  for  the 
final  advance  occupied  so  rapidly,  that  only  one 
man  was  killed  and  six  were  wounded. 

The  gun-batteries  came  thundering  and  clattering 
along  the  stony  bed  of  the  Khyber  River,  and  up 
the  open  ground,  where  the  Afghans  had  previously 
been  studying  the  ranges,  and  were  then  raked  a 
little  by  the  enemy's  cannon  planted  in  their  out- 
lying camp.  One  gunner  was  killed,  and  many 
more,  with  several  horses,  wounded,  as  the  guns 
with  their  limbers  went  clattering  past  the  open 

On  these  operations  Ali  Musjid  looked  down 
from  its  height ;  its  guns  silent,  its  walls  shattered, 
gaping,  and  rent,  as  the  night  fell,  and  all  the 
positions  were  occupied  as  intended,  and  although 
the  feeling  was  general  that  it  was  to  be  regretted 
the  27th  had  not  succeeded  in  completing  their 
rush  at  the  sungahs^  no  doubt  was  entertained  that 
the  morning  would  see  the  matter  ended — there, 
at  least  The  keen  hill  air  made  our  men  sup 
better  than  they  could  sleep.  But  all  around 
them  lay  many  brave  fellows  who  would  never 
waken  more. 

Just  as  the  grey  light  that  preceded  the  swiftly 
coming  golden  glory  of  the  Indian  dawn^  was 
stealing  down  the  mountain  sides,  a  Cashmere 
merchant  cautiously  approached  the  advanced 
pickets  at  the  lower  end  of  the  pass.  When 
brought  into  the  lines,  he  stated  that  he  "  had  been 
a  prisoner  in  Ali  Musjid  for  four  days  past,  but 
risked  a  bullet  to  come  over  and  tell  the  Sahibs 
that  there  was  nobody  now  inside  the  fortress. 
The  Ameer's  general  in  command  had  heard  late 
in  the  evening  of  Tytler's  brigade  being  in  his 

Digitized  by 




[All  MtLsjid. 

rear.  This  column  had  been  sent  round  before- 
hand from  Jumrood  with  a  long  start,  in  order  to 
descend  between  the  hills  from  the  northward,  and 
occupy  Kala  Kushta,  thereby  cutting  off  the  retreat 
of  the  garrison.  The  Cashmerian  declared  that,  so 
soon  as  the  Afghans  got  news  of  this  alarming  fact, 
nothmg  could  be  wilder  than  the  panic  which  arose 
in  the  stronghold  The  commandant  either  ordered, 
or  permitted,  an  immediate  flight ;  and  the  man 
said  we  should  find  them  all  gone,  without  taking 
away  a  gun  or  a  sack  of  corn." 

It  was  found  to  be  as  the  Cashmerian  stated : 
Ali  Musjid  was  deserted ;  the  fires  were  burning  in 
its  fire-places;  the  guns  were  still  trained  and 
loaded ;  the  tents  for  2,000  men  in  the  adjacent 
camp  were  empty,  and  flapped  mournfully  in  the 
morning  wind  The  tent-fittings  and  rifles  were 
also  abandoned,  with  Ave  pieces  of  cannon  ;  and  it 
was  now  discovered  that  the  enemy  had  been  using 
against  us  Enfield  rifle-mUskets  and  cartridges  of 
1871.  The  castle  was  armed  with  fifteen  guns, 
but  the  official  report  states  that  twenty-two  were 
taken  there. 

The  retiring  foe  were  now  seen  from  the  heights 
above  the  fort,  streaming  away  in  the  direction  of 

So  what  General  Kauffmann  and  others  so  fondly 
deemed  the  gateway  to  India,  was  once  again  in 
the  pos^ssion  of  British  bayonets,  and  amid  hearty 
cheers,  the  Union  Jack  was  run  up  on  the  ramparts 
of  Ali  Musjid 

A  detachment  of  sappers  was  sent  to  clear  the 
heights  and  occupy  the  battery  on  the  ridge,  and 
there  seven  more  guns  were  found  abandoned, 
with  great  stores  of  ammunition,  food,  and  clothing. 

There,  too,  lay  many  dead  and  wounded,  and 
our  troops  bivouacked  on  the  enemy's  ground 
All  agreed  that  the  Afghan  position  was  skilfully 
chosen  and  ably  entrenched ;  that  their  skirmishers 
at  the  outposts  and  the  defenders  of  the  breast- 
works fought  well ;  but  that  our  superior  artillery 
practice  caused  the  collapse  of  everything. 

Hoping  to  escape  Tytler's  brigade,  the  Ameer's 
general,  Gholam  Hyder  Khan,  in  silence  and 
secrecy  led  his  soldiers  up  the  pass.  But  the 
same  intense  darkness  which  first  favoured  this 
manoeuvre  betrayed  the  fast  retreating  Afghans, 
as  they  came  right  face  to  face  with  our  troops  at 
Kala  Kushta ! 

Overnight,  the  ist  battalion  of  the  17th  Foot 
— whose  white  colours  already  bore  the  word 
"Afghanistan" — with  the  ist  Sikh  Infantry  and 
the  Guides,  had  taken  post  there,  and  were  on 
the  alert  Surrounding  the  fugitives,  they  took  a 
vast  number  of  prisoners,  including,  it  was  sup^ 
posed,  the  general,  Gholam  Hyder  Khan,  and  the 
Mir  Akhur,  or  Ameer's  Master  of  the  Horse,  a 
bitter  foe  to  British  interests. 

Great  was  the  political  effiect  of  all  this  swift 
success  on  the  bearing  of  the  Khyberese  tribes 
towards  us,  as  they  thoroughly  appreciated  British 
fidelity  towards  them,  since  they  were  included  in 
the  ultimatum,  and  a  demand  was  made  for  their 
security  and  fair  treatment  Perhaps  it  was  to 
evince  this  fiiendliness,  that  the  Aireedies — ^though 
by  no  means  particular — intercepted  500  soldiers 
of  the  Afghan  army,  and  pillaged  them  of  arms, 
clothing,  and  everything.  It  was  now  believed 
that  the  influence  of  the  Cabul  Court  on  the  hill- 
men  was  annihilated. 




Prior  to  the  advance  of  Sir  Samuel  Browne  on 
Ali  Musjid  there  had  been  formed  the  famous 
Kurram  column,  or  field  force,  under  General 
Roberts,  and  preparations  had  been  carefully  made 
ere  war  took  place. 

Every  Native  Regiment  detailed  for  active  ser- 
vice had  been  augmented,  early  in  October,  by  200 
men,  and  every  troop  of  cavalry  by  sixteen  sabres — 
an  order  which  did  not  affect  the  remainder  of  the 
t^Jative  Army ;  and  the  concentration  of  troops  on 

the  frontier  went  on  rapidly,  with  the  intention  of 
occupying  Candahar  and  the  Kurram  Valley. 

The  troops  for  the  Quettah  column  were  most 
energetically  pushed  forward,  regiment  by  regiment, 
instead  of  waiting  for  a  general  rendezvous  ai 
Moultan,  as  was  first  intended.  Intense  enthusiasm 
prevailed  among  the  native  troops,  and  the  warmest 
loyalty  to  Her  Majesty's  cause  was  displayed,  espe- 
cially by  those  Indian  princes  in  the  frontier  dis- 
tricts where  hostility  to  the  Afghans  is  more  than 

Digitized  by 





tradidonaL  Many  offered  their  troops  and  personal 
aid,  with  gifts  of  transport-cattle,  elephants,  and 
stores.  The  Khan  of  Khelat  was  among  the  most 
active  in  giving  assbtance  to  the  forces  passing 
through  his  territory.  He  supplied  20,000  maunds 
of  wheat  at  the  market  price,  and  offered  all  the 
Brahin  and  other  camels  in  Beloochistan  for  the 
service  of  the  expedition. 

Hearing  of  all  these  preparations,  the  Ameer  issued 
3,000  stand  of  arms  to  the  Ghilzie  and  Kanaris 
tribes,  hoping  they  would  first  bar  our  way.  The 
former  can  produce  20,000  fighting  men  at  any 
time,  and  perhaps  are  as  warlike  now  as  when  they 
invaded  Persia  and  set  a  king  upon  its  throne. 

By  a  Government  general  order,  dated  9th 
November,  1878,  the  Kurram  column  was  consti- 
tuted,  under  Major-General  —  afterwards  Sir 
Frederick — Roberts,  with  the  usual  number  of 
staff  officers  and  commissariat 

Surgeon-General  F.  F.  Allen,  CB.,  was  at  the 
head  of  the  Medical  Department,  and  Colonel 
Perkins  at  the  head  of  the  Engineers. 

All  the  principal  officers  and  many  of  the  sub- 
alterns were  trained  soldiers  and  veterans  in  war. 

The  artillery,  consisting  of  two  troops  of  Horse 
and  Royal  Artillery,  two  mountain  batteries,  and 
an,  ordnance  park,  was  under  Lieutenant-Colonel 
A.  H.  Lindsay,  who  had  served  at  the  siege  and 
capture  of  Delhi  and  Lucknow. 

The  cavalry,  consisting  of  one  squadron  of  the 
loth  Hussars  and  the  12th  Bengal  Cavalry,  was 
under  Colonel  Hugh  Gough,  CB.,  V.C,  of  the 
latter  corps. 

First  Infantry  Brigade. 

Colonel  A.  H.  Cobbe,  of  the  17th  Foot,  com- 
manding, had  served  as  a  volunteer  with  the  field 
force  at  Delhi. 

Second  battalion  8th,  or  King's  :  Colonel  Drew. 

Twenty-ninth  Bengal  Native  Infantry:  Colonel 

Fifth  Punjaub  Infantry :  Major  McQueen. 

Bhopal  Contingent :  Colonel  H.  Forbes. 

Second  Infantry  Brigade, 

Colonel  J.  B.  Thelwall,  C.B.,  commanding,  had 
seen  a  long  career  of  brilliant  fighting  service  in 
the  Punjaub,  Oude,  and  elsewhere,  and  had  a 
thigh  smashed  by  grape-shot  at  Chillianwallah. 

The  Duke  of  Albany's  Highlanders  :  Lieutenant- 
Colonel,  Brownlow. 

Twenty-first  Native  Infantry:  Major  Collb, 

Second  Punjaub  Infantry:  Lieutenant-Colonel 

Fifth  Ghoorka  Regiment :  Major  Fitzhugh. 

The  regiments  detailed  to  join  the  Kurram 
column,  after  the  commencement  of  hostilities, 
were  the  C  Battery  of  the  Royal  Artillery,  a 
squadron  of  the  9th  Lancers,  the  ist  and  14th 
Bengal  Cavabry,  the  2nd  and  nth  Native  Infantry, 
and  Her  Majesty's  67th  Hampshire  Regiment, 
and  92nd  Gordon  Highlanders. 

By  the  ist  of  November,  1878,  the  total  strength 
of  the  field  force  was  13,269,  exclusive  of  the 
contingent  of  the  Punjaub  chiefs. 

General  Roberts,  who  commanded  this  force  and 
whose  name  became  so  prominent  in  connection 
with  the  Afghan  campaign,  is  the  son  of  one 
of  those  hard-working  soldiers  who  have  done  so 
much  to  consolidate  our  power  in  India,  General 
Sir  Abraham  Roberts,  K.CB.,  who  served  tmder 
Lord  Lake  at  the  storming  of  Kalunga  (where  the 
gallant  Rollo  Gillespie  fell),  and  led  a  brigade  in 
the  Afghan  war  of  1838-9. 

After  passing  at  Addiscombe,  Frederick  Roberts 
was  commissioned  as  second  lieutenant  in  the 
Bengal  Artillery  in  1851 ;  and  in  1857,  three  weeks 
after  the  outbreak  of  the  Mutiny,  he  was  promoted 
to  a  lieutenancy  in  the  Horse  Artillery ;  and  it 
was  said  of  him  that  when  not  occupied  by  official 
work  in  his  tent,  he  was  always  with  his  battery  or 
in  the  trenches. 

In  1857,  when  Delhi  was  finally  assaulted,  and 
carried  against  fearful  odds,  he  was  wounded,  and 
had  his  horse  killed  under  him.  After  the  capture 
he  went  with  Greathed's  column  to  the  relief  of 
Agra,  and  in  a  fight  at  Bolundshur  had  another 
horse  killed  under  him.  On  the  loth  of  October 
he  reached  Agra,  to  find  the  camp  attacked,  even 
before  the  tents  were  pitched,  by  the  Gwalior 
mutineers,  and  throughout  that  day  of  intense 
heat  he  was  foremost  in  the  pursuit 

He  next  served  with  the  column  that  advanced 
to  Lucknow,  and  in  a  combat  at  Kanouje  had  his 
horse  wounded  under  him.  Joining  Lord  Clyde's 
column  at  Cawnpore,  he  served  at  the  final  relief 
of  Lucknow,  and  was  present  in  many  sanguinary 
affairs,  in  one  of  which,  at  Khoda  Gunj,  he  won 
his  Victoria  Cross,  for  a  deed  recorded  thus  in  the 
Gazette : — 

"Lieutenant  Frederick  Sleigh  Roberts,  Bengal 
Artillery,  on  following  up  the  retreating  enemy 
on  the  2nd  January,  1858,  at  Khoda  Gunj,  saw 
in  the  distance  two  sepoys  going  away  with  the 
standard.  Lieutenant  Roberts  put  spurs  to  his 
horse,  and  overtook  them  just  as  they  were  about 
to  enter  a  village.  They  immediately  turned  round 
and  presented  their  muskets  at  him,  and  one  of 
them  pulled  the  trigger ;  but  fortunately  the  cap 
snapped,  and  the  standard-bearer  was  cut  down  by 

Digitized  by 




I  Arghantsun. 

this  gallant  young  officer,  and  the  standard  taken 
possession  of  by  him.  He  also,  on  the  same  day, 
cut  down  another  sepoy  who  was  standing  at  bay 
with  musket  and  bayonet,  keeping  off  a  sowar. 
Lieutenant  Roberts  rode  to  the  assistance  of  the 

gaining  that  experience  which  now  stood  him  in 
such  stead,  when  he  had  to  lead  the  Kurram 
column  against  the  hardy  mountain  warriors  of 

A  lieutenant-colonelcy  was  conferred  upon  him 


horseman,  and  rushing  at  the  sepoy,  by  one  blow 
of  his  sword  cut  him  across  the  face,  killing  him  on 
the  spot" 

When  troubles  broke  out  on  the  north-west 
frontier,  1863,  Roberts,  who  had  been  gazetted 
brevet-major,  13th  November,  i860,  the  day  after 
his  appointment  as  captain,  was  soon  found  at  the 
front,  at  the  storming  of  T^loo,  the  capture  of 
Umbeylah,  and  the  destruction  of  Mulkah,  there 

for  his  services  in  Abyssinia;  and  in  187 1-2  he 
was  again  in  the  field,  as  assistant  quartermaster- 
general  and  senior  staff  officer,  ^ith  the  Cachar 
column,  sent  to  punish  the  predatory  Lushais.* 
"  Instead  of  the  rocks,  walls,  barren  heights,  and 
fur-coated  warriors  of  the  north-west,  he  had  to 
meet  the  sparsely-clad  braves  of  the  north-east, 

•  Vol.  Ill ,  p.  297, 

Digitized  by 





manning  their  bamboo  stockades,  pitched  in  the 
midst  of  aknost  impenetrable  jungles.'' 

Then  he  served  at  the  capture  of  the  Khuleyl 
villages,  and  the  attack  on  the  heights  of  Northlang ; 
he  gave  Taikoom  to  the  flames,  and  in  January, 
1^72,  won  a  Companionship  of  the  Bath. 
,    On  the  30th  January,  1875,  while  still  in  the 

Kohat  is  a  small  cantonment  which  lies  south 
of  Peshawur  and  is  separated  from  it  by  rugged 
mountains — spurs  off  the  mighty  Safed  Koh  range, 
which  towers  to  the  height  of  more  than  15,000 
feet  above  the  long  valley  through  which  the 
Kurram  River  flows. 

Though  prettily  situated,  the  little  cantonment  is 

40  Pr.  Battery  ^=bir?CAi      K.uai 

N3w— Tbe  riglit  taming  xoorement  of  the  lit  Brigade  (Macphcrson)  on  Uie  RhotAB  Ridgo,  and  the  2nd  Brigade  (Tytter)  on  Eala 
Kodite  in  rear  of  All  Huajid,  atarted  from  Jumrood,  and  is  not  shown  in  the  plan.    Afghan  entrenchments "" 

PLAN  OF  THE  ATTACK  ON  ALI   MUSJID  (NOV.   21,    1878). 

quartermaster-general's  department  as  deputy,  he 
was  promoted  to  the  rank  of  full  colonel,  but 
continued  his  departmental  duties  until  the  out- 
break of  the  Afghan  war  in  the  close  of  1878, 
when  he  was  selected  to  command  the  central 
column  of  advance  into  the  dominions  of  the 

Seven  weeks  before  the  attack  on  Ali  Musjid,  and 
the  pass  it  overlooked,  Roberts  arrived  at  Kohat, 
and  assumed  command  of  the  troops  which  had 
already  been  ordered  to  assemble  there. 

in  unpleasant  proximity  to  the  Jowaki  and  Afreedi 
clans.  It  lies  nestling  amid  groves  of  dark  poplars 
and  pale  green  willows ;  and  from  the  kotal  near  it 
could  be  seen  on  one  hand  the  Kurram  Valley,  lost 
amid  the  distant  dusky  mountains,  with  the  stream 
winding  through  it  like  a  silver  streak. 

The  first  troops  at  the  muster-place  were  the 
29th  Native  Infantry,  with  a  battery  of  Horse 
Artillery,  and  all  the  rest  came  rapidly  marching 
in.  "  And  go  where  you  will,"  wrote  one  who  was 
present,  "you  will  find  the  same  opinion — entire 

Digitized  by 





confidence  in  our  chie£  In  the  prime  of  life,  of 
well-known  gallantry,  and  by  his  long  work  with 
the  head-quarter  staff  thoroughly  acquainted  with 
all  the  minor  details  which  go  so  much  towards 
assuring  the  success  of  any  force,  General  Roberts 
is,  I  am  sure,  destined  to  add  to  the  fame  he  has 
won  ahready." 

As  the  cold  was  intense,  two  good  blankets  per 
man  were  issued  to  the  troops,  and  Cashmere 
puitieSy  or  leg  bandages.  These  are  made  of  a 
strip  of  woollen  cloth,  two  yards  and  a  half  long, 
with  a  tape  sewn  on  to  one  end.  They  are  worn 
round  the  calf  of  the  leg  from  the  ankle  to  below 
the  knee,  and  secured  by  the  tape.  "  For  either 
mounted  men  or  infantry  soldiers  they  are  a  most 
useful,  warm,  and  neat-looking  dress,"  says  Colonel 
Colquhoun,  who  commanded  the  Artillery;  "but 
the  only  objection  b  they  take  a  little  time  to  put 
oa  Nearly  every  one,  officers  and  men,  wore 
them  through  the  campaign." 

Swords  were  issued  to  the  grass-cutters,  who  only 
ran  the  greater  risk  thereby,  as  the  weapon  was 
sufficient  to  insure  the  destruction  of  its  wearer  at  the 
hands  of  any  Pathan  who  might  wish  to  possess  it. 

A  hospital  was  formed  at  Thai,  for  which  place 
the  head-quarters  moved  on  the  i8th  of  November, 
and  in  every  respect  the  troops  were  now  in 
readiness  for  an  instant  advance. 

On  the  20th  of  November  the  following  divisional 
order  was  issued : — 

"  The  Major-General  commanding  the  Kurram 
field  force  notifies  that  all  the  troops  and  others 
who  are  now,  or  hereafter  may,  come  under  hb 
command  will  from  to-day,  and  until  further 
orders,  be  held  to  be  engaged  *  on  active  service 
in  the  field'  in  the  sense  of  the  ii8th  Article  of 

The  bridge  by  which  the  river  was  to  be  crossed 
was  now  fully  constructed,  of  plain  trestles  with  a 
i2-feet  roadway.  Some  Afghan  soldiers  who 
occupied  the  fort  at  Kapyang,  and  who  were  wont 
to  come  down  and  wash  their  faces  and  bathe  in 
the  river,  and  within  sight  of  our  sentries,  came 
frequently  to  observe  its  construction,  without 
molesting  the  Engineers ;  and  when  the  river  was 
crossed,  the  fort  was  found  to  be  evacuated. 

On  the  morning  of  the  21st,  while  Browne's 
column  was  operating  elsewhere,  the  troops  began 
to  cross  the  river,  the  squadron  of  our  loth 
Hussars,  with  the  Native  Cavalry  and  a  mountain 
battery,  leading  the  way,  under  Colonel  Gordoa 

Ali  Musjid  was  taken  as  we  have  described,  the 
pass  opened  up,  and  the  general  advance  began. 
The  war  was  transferred  to  the  difficult  mountain 
country  lying  between  the  invaders  and  Cabul ;  and 

the  force  was  divided  into  three  columns,  which 
were  to  penetrate  by  three  different  routes. 

At  daybreak  on  the  21st  the  frontier  was  crossed. 
Major-General  Roberts  and  his  staff  proceeded  with 
the  troops  under  Colonel  Gordon.  The  Punjaub 
Infantry  crossed  the  river  by  the  bridge ;  but  the 
Hussars  crossed  below  it — to  act  as  flanking  parties 
and  to  intercept  the  flight  of  the  garrison  supposed 
to  be  in  Kapyang — and  opened  out  in  skirmishing 
order,  with  carbines  unslung,  from  the  river-bed  to 
the  top  of  the  bank  on  the  other  side 

Gordon's  orders  were  to  surprise  and  prevent  the 
destruction  of  the  fort,  which,  as  stated,  was  dis- 
covered to  be  deserted  by  all  save  two  men,  a 
Turi  and  a  Ghilzie,  who  were  evidently  deserters, 
though  they  stated  that  they  had  been  placed  as 
sentinels  at  the  end  of  the  bridge. 

Kapyang  was  found  to  be  a  square  mud  fort, 
with  round  towers  at  the  comers,  which  proved 
useful  as  signal  posts ;  consequently  for  a  few  days 
it  was  occupied  by  a  signalling  party.  Camping 
ground  was  selected,  advanced  pickets  posted  on 
some  low  hills  that  overlooked  it;  the  Pioneers 
began  the  construction  of  a  road  up  the  steep 
bank  from  the  river ;  while  the  squadron  of  the 
loth  and  the  12  th  Bengal  Cavalry  proceeded  to 
reconnoitre  and  find  out  the  position  of  the 

The  path  for  a  few  miles  lay  along  the  bank  of 
the  Khyber,  after  which  it  turned  inland  up  a 
rough  gorge,  to  surmount  a  low  kotal,  or  slope, 
that  would  have  made  a  good  position  had  it  been 
manned  From  thence  the  road  dipped  down 
again,  till  Ahmed-i-Shama,  eight  miles  distant,  was 
reached — covered  by  the  cavalry  in  about  an 
hour,  but  too  late  to  overtake  the  fugitives  from 

Here  and  there  hawk-nosed  and  dark-eyed 
Afreedies  were  seen  sitting  like  \'ultures  on  the 
watch.  The  advance  force  halted  for  the  night  at 
Ahmed-i-Shama,  a  mud-built  fort  in  a  ruinous 
condition,  with  dwarf  palms  growing  about  it 
The  road  track  passed  through  stony  gullies,  that 
were  a  source  of  trouble  to  the  Horse  Artillery. 
"  About  a  mile  from  the  camp  at  Ahmed-i-Shama," 
says  Colonel  Colquhoun,  "  a  reef  of  rocks  crops  up 
in  vertical  strata,  the  track  going  along  the  edges 
of  these  rocks  and  the  intervening  spaces  of  earth. 
The  continuous  traffic  of  ages  has,  however,  worn 
a  fairly  good  path  even  along  this ;  but  here  and 
there  detached  boulders  from  the  heights  above 
had  bedded  themselves,  blocking  the  pathway,  and 
till  these  were  removed  or  blasted  the  guns  could 
not  be  taken  along.  The  banks  were  too  high  and 
diflUcult  to  allow  an  alternative  road  to  be  made 

Digitized  by 


Kumun  Fort.] 



down  into  the  river-bed  at  this  place,  without 
more  labour  than  was  involved  in  the  removal  of 
obstructions,  which  were  speedily  cleared  away  by 
the  united  labours  of  the  Pioneer  Regiment  and  of 
the  Sappers  and  Miners,  when  the  Artillery  marched 
on  the  following  day." 

From  this  we  may  judge  of  the  toil  of  the  on- 
ward march,  and  of  some  of  the  local  difficulties 
with  which  the  troops  had  to  contend. 

After  the  first  few  miles  of  the  road  were  passed, 
few  obstacles  occurred  to  prevent  a  tolerably  quick 
'  advance  through  a  number  of  picturesque  little 
villages  that  dotted  the  bank  of  the  river.  Their 
inhabitants  seemed  friendly,  the  headmen  paying 
obeisance  to  General  Roberts,  and  all  offering  eggs, 
fowls,  and  dried  fruit  for  sale.  But  it  was  not  so 
everywhere,  as  the  Zukka  Kheyls  were  giving 
some  trouble  in  the  vicinity  of  Ali  Musjid,  where 
300  of  them  erected  a  breastwork  and  kept  up  a 
fire  for  three  hours  upon  the  regiment  left  in 
camp,  till  j)ickets  were  thrown  out  and  every  point 

By  this  time  General  Browne  had  pushed  on  to 
Lundi  Khani,  fifteen  miles  from  Ali  Musjid,  and 
was  also  met  by  the  headmen  of  villages,  coming 
out  to  congratulate  him  and  pay  their  respects. 
There  he  bivouacked,  while  Major  Cavagnari  rode 
forward  to  Loi  Dakka,  some  ten  miles  farther  on, 
which  he  reached  at  seven  in  the  evening ;  and 
there  Mohammed  Shah,  Khan  of  Lalpura,  chief  of 
the  Mohmunds,  and  hitherto  the  Ameer's  ally, 
made  submission  to  him. 

The  progress  seemed  tolerably  easy  as  yet ;  but 
Cabul  was  not  to  be  reached  without  fighting. 

On  the  24th  November,  when  moving  through 
the  Darwaza  Pass,  General  Roberts  received  tidings 
that  the  Ameer's  troops  had  evacuated  the  Kurram 
Fort,  leaving  a  gun  behind  them  in  their  haste,  and 
were  retreating  across  the  Peiwar  KotaL  That 
night  the  dwarf  palm  scrub  and  dry  grass  were  set 
alight  by  some  chance,  and  blazed  in  all  directions, 
with  such  rapidity  as  to  endanger  the  tents ;  but  on 
the  26th  the  head-quarters  were  at  the  Kurram  Fort ; 
and  on  an  open  plain  to  the  westward  of  it,  be- 
tween two  nullahs,  the  camp  was  pitched 

This  stronghold,  the  name  of  which  is  now  so 
^uniliar,  was  originally  called  Fort  Mohammed  Azim, 
after  its  builder.  In  the  usual  fashion  of  architec- 
ture in  that  part  of  the  world,  it  is  constructed  of 
mud,  and  its  interior  can  only  be  described  as  a 
succession  of  holes  half  full  of  rubbish  and  filth. 
Oblong  in  form,  it  measures  120  feet  by  50  feet 
each  way,  with  a  keep  30  feet  high,  and  walls  6  feet 
thick.  It  has  eight  bastions,  each  surmounted  by  a 
round  tower.     The  whole  is  surrounded  by  a  moat, 

crossed  by  a  drawbridge  and  covered  way.  Around 
the  four  sides  of  the  wall  were  the  huts  which  the 
garrison  occupied  On  two  of  the  circular  bastions 
were  the  officers'  quarters ;  one  was  well  finished, 
and  glazed  with  coloured  glass. 

Within  it  lay  a  brass  9-pounder,  dismounted,  and 
close  by  was  a  garden,  or  orchard,  eighty  yards 
square,  where  yet  remained  the  vines,  apples, 
quinces,  and  other  fruit-trees  planted  by  Mohammed 

Magnificent  scenery  rises  all  round  it,  and  noble 
forests  clothe  the  mighty  hills  till  the  limit  of  trees 
is  reached,  at  11,000  feet  From  the  sides  of  the 
hilb  spurs  run  out  at  angles,  enclosing  narrow 
valleys,  through  which  brawl  mountain  torrents, 
bordered  by  the  most  luxuriant  vegetation;  and 
there  grow  many  trees  familiar  to  the  English  eye — 
the  oak,  the  ash,  the  hawthorn,  and  chestnut,  side 
by  side  with  the  cedar,  olive,  and  fig. 

There  b  excellent  fishing  in  the  Kurram  River, 
which  takes  its  rise  in  the  upland  vales  of  the 
Saratiga,  "or  Black  Stone  Mountain,"  and  the 
woods  teem  with  monal  pheasants,  ibex,  and  small 
game,  as  well  as  with  bears  and  panthers. 

At  the  head  of  two  squadrons  of  cavalry,  the 
general  made  a  reconnaissance  towards  the  Peiwar 
Kotal,  about  twelve  miles  distant  Several  villages 
in  the  vicinity  were  in  flames,  and  to  the  east  of 
Peiwar  three  regiments  of  Afghan  infantry  were 
seen  falling  back,  with  twelve  pieces  of  cannon. 

As  no  time  was  to  be  lost  in  following  up  the 
enemy,  the  camp  attendants  and  equipage  were  re- 
duced to  a  minimum.  One  bell  tent  was  allotted 
to  fifteen  British  soldiers,  one  tent  of  two  parts  to 
twenty  sepoys,  officers'  baggage  was  limited  to  half 
a  mule  load,  and  all  sick  men,  and  those  who  were 
"  likely  to  knock  up,"  were  left  at  the  Kurram  Fort 

To  hold  the  fort  there  were  also  left  two  guns  of 
the  Royal  Horse  Artillery,  and  three  of  the  Royal 
Artillery,  besides  a  squadron  of  the  loth  Hussars,  and 
the  7th  company  of  Sappers  and  Miners ;  and  on 
the  28th  the  troops  were  to  advance  in  two  columns, 
to  force  the  passes,  where  bloody  work  was  con- 
fidently expected ;  but  all  were  full  of  enthusiasm 
and  in  the  highest  spirits. 

At  five  a.m.  the  bugles  sounded,  and  the  regi- 
ments for  the  front  formed  up  at  the  time  ordered ; 
but  owing  to  the  rocky  ravines  and  deep  water- 
courses in  the  vicinity  of  the  camp,  and  the  extreme 
gloom  of  the  winter  morning,  an  hour  elapsed 
before  the  force  moved  off,  and  then  it  was  found 
that  four  guns  were  with  the  right  column  instead 
of  being  divided  between  the  two. 

The  cold  was  intense,  and  snow  was  falling  on 
the  Peiwar  Kotal 

Digitized  by 




[Peiwar  KolaL 

General  Roberts  rode  at  the  head  of  the  left 
column,  which,  about  ten  a.m.,  arrived  at  Habib 
Kila,  a  fourteen  miles'  march,  which  occupied 
four  hours.  There  information  reached  him  that 
the  Ameer's  troops  had  abandoned  their  guns  at 
Peiwar  Kotal,  and  were  in  disorderly  retreat  to 
Cabul  :  these  tidings,  though  pleasant,  proved 
false.  But  it  was  necessary,  before  acting,  to  ascer- 
tain the  truth  of  the  report,  as  the  moral  effect  of 
getting  the  guns  would  be  great,  especially  as  the 
distance  to  the  foot  of  the  Peiwar  Kotal  was  only 
about  seven  miles  by  road,  and  there  was  every  in- 
ducement to  make  a  dash  forward,  instead  of  wait- 
ing at  Habib  Kila  while  the  enemy  strengthened 
their  position. 

The  path  from  the  Peiwar  village  to  the  kotal 
ascends  a  valley,  the  whole  of  which,  for  three  and 
a  half  miles  after  passing  the  cultivated  patches  of 
the  village,  is  covered  with  jungle,  at  the  end  of 
which  stood  a  village  called  Turrai,  inhabited  by 
Mangals;  and,  as  the  Afghan  troops  were  known 
to  have  been  in  it,  there  was  a  necessity  for  ascer- 
taining whether  they  were  there  stilL 

The  left  column  was  ordered  to  turn  a  ridge  on 
the  south  side  of  the  valley,  and  seize  Turrai ; 
while  orders  were  sent  to  the  right  brigade  to 
march  by  Habib  Kila  up  the  regular  road  by  the 
Peiwar,  and  support,  if  necessary,  the  attack  on  the 

No  enemy  was  found  on  the  southern  ridge,  so 
the  troops  moved  on  towards  the  village,  filing 
down  by  a  rugged  mountain  path,  that  did  not  lead 
exactly  to  the  village,  but  into  a  ravine,  south  of 
the  kotal,  and  then  they  came  in  sight  of  the 
Afghans  on  the  mountain  crest,  high  overhead. 

The  officer  in  command  found  he  could  do 
nothing  in  that  direction.  Precipitous  mountains 
that  started  out  of  the  ravine  barred  the  way,  and 

he  had  no  direct  orders  to  attack,  so  he  fell  back 
upon  Turrai,  a  little  way  in  his  rear. 

The  Afghans,  who  had  been  gesticulating 
violently,  capering,  and  brandishing  their  weapons, 
on  seeing  thb  retrograde  movement,  came  exult- 
ingly  down,  and  opened  fire  on  the  regiments  as 
they  moved  towards  the  village. 

A  steady  double  brought  the  troops  across  the 
ravine  and  up  the  opposite  slope,  when  the  main 
body  of  the  enemy  were  evidently  warned  that  their 
flank  was  menaced;  yet  a  smart  skirmish  ensued 
as  the  29th  Punjaub  Infantry  began  to  drive  them 
back.  A  wing  of  the  sth  Punjaub,  under  Captain 
Hall,  was  in  support  lower  down,  on  a  steep  knoll. 

The  29th  went  boldly  up  the  difficult  face  of  the 
hill  overlooking  the  ravine,  till  the  steepness  of  it 
precluded  all  further  ascent ;  then  two  mountain 
guns,  under  Lieutenant  Jervis,  were  brought  into 
action,  and  shelled  the  enemy,  but  as  the  latter 
were  now  behind  shelter  trenches  and  stems  of 
trees,  not  much  damage  was  done  them,  so  the 
troops  fell  back  by  alternate  regiments. 

Considering  the  number  of  men  engaged  here, 
our  loss  was  singularly  slight  Captain  A.  Reed, 
of  the  29th,  was  struck  in  the  vicinity  of  the 
spine,  but  soon  recovered ;  a  native  officer  of  the 
5th  was  mortally  wounded.  The  other  casualties 
were  only  the  driver  of  a  mountain  battery  killed, 
and  eight  sepoys  wounded. 

The  falseness  of  the  report  that  the  guns  had 
been  abandoned,  and  also  that  no  enemy  was  left 
in  the  ravines  in  the  neighbourhood  of  the  road  to 
Turrai  was  now  ascertained.  So  the  general  halted 
and  encamped,  to  give  his  troops  a  thorough  rest 
prior  to  the  important  operations  of  the  morrow; 
and  great  was  the  difficulty  experienced  in  pitching 
tents  in  the  dark  among  the  scattered  hill-oaks  and 
I  scrub-jungle  which  covered  the  ground. 



Owing  to  the  exhaustion  of  the  men  and  cattle 
from  their  late  fatigue,  and  the  impossibility  of 
keeping  up  supplies,  the  attack  on  the  Peiwar 
Kotal  was  delayed  for  three  days,  and  meanwhile 
the  camp  was  shifted  to  a  more  secure  site  than 
that  selected  on  the  previous  night 

Meantime,  it  became  known  at  head-quarters 
that  Dakka  had  been  occupied  without  opposition, 
though  the   Mohmunds  plundered  it  before  our 

troops  arrived.  The  road  to  Lundi  Khani,  which 
lies  through  the  Khoord  Khyber  Pass,  was  the 
scene  of  several  outrages ;  robberies  were  frequent, 
two  murders  were  committed  on  it,  and  an  officer 
bathing  in  the  river  was  fired  at.  So  intoxicated 
were  the  frontier  clans  with  plundering  the  Ameer's 
fugitive  soldiers,  that  they  could  not  sometimes 
distinguish  friends  from  foes. 

On  the  27th  General  Biddulph's  force  in  the 

Digitized  by 


Fbimur  Kotal.l 



Pishin  Valley  captured  the  Moonshee  of  the  Ameer, 
together  with  the  revenue  accounts ;  and  two  days 
after,  General  Browne  reconnoitred  the  Jellalabad 
road  for  ten  miles,  as  far  as  Hazamas.  But  the 
officer  commanding  at  Ali  Musjid  telegraphed  to 
Jumrood — Anglid^  "Meeting  of  the  Waters" — three 
miles  from  the  Khyber,  that  the  marauders  there 
had  given  him  serious  trouble. 

On  the  2nd  December  Major  Cavagnari,  with  a 
body  of  troops  and  two  guns,  with  the  aid  of  the 
Kahi  Kheyls,  punished  certain  Afghans  who  had 
attacked  our  convoys.  A  portion  submitted; 
others  resisted,  and  were  shelled  by  his  artillery. 
The  fortified  towers  were  dismantled,  and  the  head- 
men of  villages  arranged  to  post  strong  guards  on 
the  heights  in  the  Shada-Hagia  Pass,  thus  securing 
the  road  to  Dakka. 

Colonel  Perkins,  of  the  Royal  Engineers,  as  a 
preliminary  to  the  attack,  made  a  careful  recon- 
naissance of  the  Peiwar  Kotal,  accompanied  by  two 
companies  of  the  23rd  Pioneers. 

In  our  front  lay  a  valley,  up  which  the  road  to 
the  kotal  wound  for  about  two  miles  from  the 
camp.  Across  the  summit,  or  saddle,  of  the  steep 
ascent,  the  enemy  had  thrown  up  a  battery  of  field- 
guns,  the  fire  of  which  could  rake  the  whole  pass. 
On  either  side  of  the  kotal  were  two  steep  hills,  on 
which  were  guns  in  battery,  which  could  throw  a 
deadly  cross-fire  upon  an  ascending  force.  On  the 
enemy's  right  a  lofty  and  impending  rock  formed  a 
position  fi*om  which  the  pass — there  from  crest  to 
crest  of  the  hills,  about  1,000  yards  across — could 
be  swept  by  a  fire  of  musketry. 

The  troops  of  the  Ameer  occupied  the  entire 
line  of  the  upper  hills  for  a  distance  of  four  miles, 
and  at  either  extremity  were  guns  in  position  to 
meet  any  flank  attack  that  could  be  made,  and 
loftier  and  more  inaccessible  hilb  covered  their 
line  of  retreat  Here,  as  often  elsewhere  in  these 
campaigns,  European,  and  not  Oriental,  skill  was 
suspected  in  the  construction  of  the  defences. 

Meanwhile,  Major  CoUett,  with  two  other  com- 
panies of  the  23rd  Pioneers,  reconnoitred  another 
pass,  known  as  the  Spin  Gawi  route.  They  reached 
the  summit  of  a  ridge,  five  miles  fi-om  the  camp 
and  1,200  feet  above  it,  overlooking  the  Spin  Gawi 
ravine.  It  was  then  ascertained  that  the  road  up 
to  the  ridge  seemed  easy  and  practicable  for  troops 
of  all  arms ;  that  it  appeared  to  be  on  the  line  to 
the  Peiwar  Kotal ;  and  that  a  force  working  from  it 
towards  the  latter  would  pass  over  a  series  of 
dominating  positions. 

The  enemy  did  not  hold  this  point  in  force ;  a 
picket  on  a  knoll  and  a  couple  of  guns  only  were 
there.    Accordingly  Major  Collett  suggested  that  the 

attack  should  be  made  in  this  direction,  where  the 
features  of  the  ground  were  less  strong  in  a  military 
point  of  view ;  and  the  plan  was,  by  a  night  march 
to  reach  the  top  of  the  ravine,  storm  it,  and  turn 
the  enemy's  position  at  the  Peiwar  KotaL 

The  troops  detailed  for  the  turning  force  were 
the  29th  Native  Infantry  and  5th  Ghoorkas,  under 
Colonel  Gordon ;  No.  i  Mountain  Battery,  and  a 
wing  of  the  Albany  Highlanders,  the  2nd  Punjaub 
Infantry,  and  23rd  Pioneers,  under  Brigadier 
Thelwall,  with  a  four-gun  elephant  battery — ^to 
march  from  camp  at  ten  o'clock. 

The  remainder  of  the  troops  for  the  direct  attack 
were  under  Brigadier  Cobbe. 

To  lure  the  enemy  into  the  idea  that  the  attack 
was  to  be  wholly  in  front,  a  party  of  Pioneers  began 
to  construct  a  sham  battery  near  the  village  of 
Turrai,  and  to  strengthen  the  supposition  a  battery 
of  artillery  and  the  12th  Bengal  Cavaby,  which 
had  just  come  into  camp  from  the  rear,  were 
ostentatiously  paraded  in  the  same  quarter.  "  If  we 
could  have  looked  behind  the  wall  of  rock  that 
rose  in  our  front,"  says  Colonel  Colquhoun,  "we 
should  have  seen  that  the  enemy  also  had  received 
their  reinforcements,  four  regiments  of  infantry 
with  a  mountain  battery,  and  were  meditating  an 
attack  on  the  camp ;  but  though  they  had  the  will, 
by  not  attacking  on  the  night  of  the  ist  they  lost 
their  opportunity  for  ever." 

Heavy  clouds  of  mist,  that  veiled  the  summit  of 
the  Safed  Koh,  and  the  recent  shock  of  an  earth- 
quake, warned  the  general  that  whatever  was  to  be 
done  would  need  to  be  done  quickly. 

The  eventful  night  of  the  1st  December  came. 
The  bright  camp-fires  shed  their  wavering  light  on 
the  white  streets  of  tents,  when,  without  sound  of 
drum  or  bugle,  the  troops  fell  silently  into  their 
ranks,  the  companies  were  told  off,  and  the  bat- 
talions formed.  To  prevent  any  native  treachery, 
so  well  was  the  secret  of  the  proposed  operations 
kept,  that  the  dhooly  bearers  of  the  29th  Regiment 
went  blunderingly  forward  towards  the  kotal,  till 
turned  back  by  the  outlying  picket 

The  night,  though  starry,  was  intensely  dark  till 
about  ten  o'clock,  when  a  pale  and  waning  moon 
arose ;  but  still  the  turning  force  remained  unseen 
in  the  deep  and  gloomy  recesses  of  the  Spin  Gawi 
nullah  (/>.,  the  White  Cow  Pass),  up  which  they  were 
toiling  to  reach  the  crest,  crowned  by  the  two  guns 
referred  to. 

General  Roberts  accompanied  this  column,  the 
march  of  which  was,  by  necessity,  tedious  and 
slow;  the  cold  became  intense  as  the  troops 
ascended  (for  even  the  camp  they  had  left  was 
8,006  feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea),  but  was 

Digitized  by 





most  felt  by  the  mounted  officers,  whose  hands 
and  feet  became  benumbed.  As  the  ascent  con- 
tinued, the  path  became  worse,  the  loose  boulders 

the  reports  of  two  rifles,  discharged  suddenly  in  the 
ranks  of  the  29th  Punjaub  Infantry,  startled  all,  and 
exasperated  the  officers.     Colonel  Gordon  instantly 


larger,  and  the  furrows  of  the  dried-up  pools 

Little  time  could  be  given  for  an  intended  rest, 
as  the  progress  was  so  slow  that  unless  the  Spin 
Gawi  Pass  was  ours  before  daybreak,  many  lives 
would  be  lost  in  the  great  attack  on  the  kotaL 

Save  the  tramp  of  the  marching  feet,  and  the 
hard  breathing  of  men,  no  sound  was  heard,  till 

halted  the  regiment,  and  the  general  kept  it  thus 
while  two  companies  of  the  72nd  Highlanders, 
with  the  5th  Ghoorkas,  passed  to  the  front 

The  names  of  the  men  who  fired  could  not  be 
ascertained  then ;  yet  a  native  officer  who  smelt 
some  of  the  rifle-barrels  discovered  them,  but,  to 
screen  his  Mohammedan  co-religionists,  he  kept  to 
himself  the  information  he  had  gained    No  doubt^ 

Digitized  by 





however,  existed  in  the  minds  of  all  that  some  of 
the  Pathans  who  were  in  the  ranks  of  the  29th,  had 
conceived  an  idea  that  they  should  not  fight  against 
their  neighbours,,  the  Afghans,  and  fired  these  shots 
to  rouse  the  posts  at  the  head  of  the  pass ;  and  this 
view  was  confirmed  by  the  behaviour  of  a  party  of 
the  regiment,  who  deliberately  made  their  way  back 
to  camp,  asserting  that  they  had  lost  their  track  in 

reached,  and  ere  long  the  troops  found  themselves 
confronted  by  an  abattis  formed  by  felled  trees, 
which  were  laid  over  each  other  to  the  height  of 
eight  feet,  and  completely  blocked  the  way. 

The  Afghan  picket  which  lined  it  poured  a  fire 
into  the  Ghoorkas,  who,  led  by  Major  Fitzhugh 
and  Captain  Cook,  made  a  gallant  rush  at  it, 
the  major  showing  the  way  over,  sword  in  hand 


the  dark.  Most  of  these  men,  as  well  as  the  two 
traitors  who  gave  the  alarm,  though  luckily  without 
avail,  were  eventually  tried  by  court-martial 

The  head  of  the  column  was  very  near  the 
sununit  about  six  o'clock,  but  the  morning  was 
still  dark,  and  the  path  by  which  the  troops  moved 
now  was  almost  invisible,  so  dense  and  gloomy 
were  the  trees  that  overshadowed  it  Feeling  their 
way,  the  troops  pushed  on,  expecting  every  moment 
to  grapple  with  the  enemy. 

Nor  had  they  long  to  wait  before  the  shrill 
challenge  of  an  Afghan  sentinel,  responded  to  by 
two  shots,  showed  that  his   position  had   been 

Fierce  was  the  hand-to-hand  combat  with  bayonet 
and  clubbed  musket  that  ensued  now,  but  the 
mountaineers,  overpowered  by  the  furious  pressure 
of  the  advancing  troops,  fell  back  upon  another 
barrier  eighty  yards  in  their  rear,  where  another 
stand  was  made ;  but  they  were  soon  swept  away 
by  the  valour  of  the  wiry,  active,  and  ferocious 
little  Ghoorkas,  aided  by  the  Albany  Highlanders, 
while  the  rest  of  the  wing  of  the  latter,  ascending 
by  their  right  flank,  partly  hidden  by  the  dense 
timber  that  clothed  the  precipitous  slope  of  the 
hill,  gradually  forced  their  way  into  the  fighting 

Digitized  by 





Side  by  side  the  Ghoorkas  and  Highlanders 
now  rushed  on  together,  though  in  the  gloom  of 
the  morning  they  were  unable  to  know  how  many 
stockades  were  yet  before  them. 

About  I  GO  yards  from  the  second  stockade 
towered  up  an  entrenched  knoll ;  but  the  stormers 
soon  carried  that  post,  and  some  forty  dead 
Afghans,  whose  bleeding  corpses  lay  within  about 
as  many  yards,  attested  the  stubbornness  with 
which  tfiey  defended  their  position,  and  carried 
off  a  7-pounder  mountain  gun. 

There  was  not  much  daylight  yet,  but  enough  to 
show  that  the  enemy  were  in  crowds  about  a  knoll, 
the  summit  of  which  was  crowned  by  our  High- 
landers. Captain  J.  Andrew  Kelso,  with  two  guns, 
was  ordered  to  take  post  on  the  right,  while  the 
two  other  guns  were  halted  at  the  bottom  of  the 
hill  by  General  ThelwalL 

Kelso  was  advancing  at  the  head  of  his  guns 
when  he  was  shot  dead  through  the  head  About 
the  same  time  one  of  his  guns  was  disabled,  so 
there  were  only  three  available  there  for  the  rest  of 
the  day.  The  Highlanders  were  now  driving  the 
enemy  up  the  slopes  amid  the  dark  pine  woods, 
enveloping  the  stems  of  these  in  rifle  smoke,  while 
their  ringing  cheers  were  heard  ever  and  anon.  The 
Ghoorkas  were  pushing  on  in  similar  fashion,  when 
the  Afghans  closed  in  and  prepared  to  charge 
them  down  hill 

This  was  perceived  by  Major  Galbraith,  of  the 
85th  Foot,  the  Assistant  Adjutant-General,  and  he 
was  in  the  act  of  directing  the  fire  of  the  men  near 
him  to  check  this  movement  when  an  Afghan 
crept  up  close  and  levelled  his  rifle  at  him.  The 
major  attempted  to  shoot  the  man  with  his  re- 
volver, which  hung  fire.  Seeing  this.  Captain 
Cook,  of  the  Ghoorkas,  closed  with  the  Afghan, 
threw  him  down,  and  the  major,  on  his  pistol 
being  restored  to  order,  shot  his  assailant,  and 
Captain  Cook  won  the  Victoria  Cross. 

Day  was  still  only  dawning,  and  it  was  just 
possible  to  see  the  positions  which  had  been 
gained  by  the  Ghoorkas,  the  Highlanders,  and  the 
29th  Punjaubees.  The  post  had  been  won  by  the 
two  former  corps,  supported  however  by  the  29th, 
who,  when  they  reached  the  summit  of  the  hill, 
were  successful  in  repelling  an  attack  made  on  the 
right  by  those  Afghans  who  had  fallen  back  before 
the  furious  advance  of  the  72  nd,  a  movement  in 
which  Lieutenant  Munro  was  wounded. 

The  enemy,  now  utterly  disheartened,  were  seen 
streaming  away  across  the  plateau  of  the  Spin  Gawi 
Pass,  towards  the  Peiwar  Kotal;  and  so  long  as 
they  were  within  sight  and  range,  the  mountain 
guns  poured  shot  and  shell  upon  them. 

By  half-past  seven  a.m.,  the  whole  of  the  column 
under  Thelyall,  the  elephants  excepted,  were  on 
the  summit  of  the  corpse-strewn  Spin  Gawi ;  and 
General  Roberts  was  able  to  flash  the  intelligence 
to  Brigadier  Cobbe,  who  was  taking  his  own  account 
of  the  enemy  elsewhere. 

His  operations  were  as  follows . — 

At  five  o'clock  on  the  morning  of  the  2nd  Decem- 
ber, five  pieces  of  cannon,  under  Major  Parry, 
R.A,  escorted  by  a  party  of  the  8th,  or  King's, 
moved  into  position,  in  the  dark,  to  engage  the 
batteries  at  the  head  of  Peiwar  Kotal  Pass  and  the 
Crow's  Nest,  as  it  was  named.  As  soon  as  day- 
light served,  the  booming  of  the  guns  woke  with 
tremendous  reverberations  the  echoes  of  the  wooded 
mountain  gorge.  The  major's  first  object  was  to 
silence  the  fire  from  the  Crow's  Nest,  and  then 
direct  all  his  energies  against  the  guns  on  the 

His  battery  was  exposed  \o  a  heavy  fire  through- 
out the  day ;  shot  and  shell  fell  fast  around  it,  but, 
miraculously,  he  escaped  without  a  casualty.  At 
first  much  of  thb  might  be  attributable  to  the 
peculiar  gloom  of  the  morning.  So  loud  was  the 
firing  that  it  roused  even  the  garrison  in  the  distant 
Kurram  Fort,  though  they  knew  not  what  was 
going  on.  "  The  course  of  the  engagement  could 
be  traced  by  the  red  flashes  which  shone  bright 
against  the  dark  background  of  the  mountains.  It 
was  an  anxious  time,  however,  for  the  lookers  on, 
but  still,  as  the  flashes  rose  higher  and  higher  on 
the  mountains,  their  spirits  rose  too.  The  firing 
on  the  part  of  the  Afghans  seemed  to  be  severe — 
sometimes  independent,  sometimes  in  volleys ; 
their  shelb  bursting  in  the  air  gave  somewhat  the 
appearance  of  guns  fired  from  lower  positions  But 
at  a  distance  of  twenty  miles,  in  the  dusk  of  a 
December  morning,  the  size  and  extent  of  the  red 
flashes  were  the  only  guide  in  determining  the 
nature  of  the  fire." 

At  six  o'clock  in  the  morning,  the  8th  Foot  and  sth 
Pimjaub  Infantry  advanced  up  the  valley,  and  took 
post  on  certain  spurs  that  ran  down  into  it,  to  the 
right  front  of  Parry's  battery ;  while  Brigadier  Cobbe 
and  his  staff  occupied  a  vantage  spot  on  a  high 
knoll  in  the  centre  of  the  ravine ;  and  from  the  time 
Parry's  guns  opened,  till  half-past  two  in  the  after- 
noon, they  were  continually  at  work,  short  intervals 
only  being  allowed  to  cool  them  when  they  became 
dangerously  hot 

About  daybreak,  the  sound  of  smart  firing  on 
the  right  had  warned  Cobbe's  column  that  an 
action  was  in  progress  there,  and  that  Thelwall 
was  pressing  up  the  Spin  Gawi  Pass.  Parry's 
battery  had  gone  into  action  at  about  3,000  yards, 

Digitized  by 


I>«hnr  Koul.] 



SO,  although  the  infkntry  were  somewhat  in  ad- 
vance of  him,  they  were  still  beyond  effective 
range  for  either  Snider  or  Martini-Henry  rifles, 
and  were  accordingly  moved  steadily  forward,  pass- 
ing up  the  rear  and  across  the  tops  of  the  wooded 
spiurs  which  nm  into  the  valley,  and  by  half-past 
nine  had  attained  the  crest  of  a  ridge  sufficiently 
advanced  from  which  to  open  fire  on  the  enemy, 
who  lined  another,  which  connected  the  summit  of 
the  pass  with  the  part  called  the  Crow's  Nest 

The  morning  was  beautiful ;  the  warmth  of  the 
bright  sun  tempered  the  keenness  of  the  air  and  lit 
up  the  landsoipe,  the  bold  natural  features  of 
which  were  very  striking ;  but  as  the  enemy's  rifle- 
men crowded  the  pine-covered  slopes  of  the  Peiwar 
Kotal,  few  cared  then  to  appreciate  artistic  effects. 

The  23rd  Pioneers  had  led  the  way,  followed  by 
the  2nd  and  the  29th  Punjaubees ;  and  then  came 
the  mountain  battery  under  Lieutenant  Jervis.  To 
"feel"  the  enemy,  who  seemed  buried  in  the 
dense  pine  forest,  and  as  it  was  besides  necessary  to 
advance  with  caution,  a  line  of  skirmishers  was 
thrown  forward,  and  was  speedily  so  lost  to  view  in 
the  forest  that  the  officers  could  do  little  but  superin- 
tend those  in  their  immediate  vicinity. 

ITie  white  puffs  of  smoke  that  spurted  up  amid 
the  greenery  alone  served  as  objects  to  aim  at  on 
each  side;  and  our  troops  had  to  work  slowly 
through  the  woods,  climbing  or  crawling  over  the 
stems  of  fallen  pines,  driving  the  enemy  before 
them,  till  they  were  cleared  off  the  ridge  on  which 
our  troops  took  post,  and  then  on  both  sides  there 
was  kept  up  an  incessant  musketry  fire.  "Thus 
the  engagement  continued ;  the  Afghans  on  the 
hill  in  crowds,  and  on  our  side  the  line  of  the  23rd 
Pioneers,  2nd  Punjaub  Infantry,  and  29th  Punjaub 
Infantry,  broken  up  into  groups,  as  the  ground  or 
the  trees  obliged  the  skirmishers  to  collect  under 
shelter  from  the  withering  fire  from  the  opposite 
hill,  distant  at  this  point  about  50  yards,  widening 
out  to  150  as  the  Afghan  hill  receded  on  the 
further  side  of  the  valley." 

The  results  were  not  sufficiently  satisfactory  as 
yet  to  warrant  the  heavy  expenditure  of  ammu- 
nition, so  an  advance  was  made  and  another  ridge 
won.  In  making  this  movement.  Brigadier  Cobbe 
was  severely  wounded,  and  had  to  resign  his 
command  to  Colonel  Barry  Drew,  of  the  8th 

As  our  infantry  attack  now  began  to  develop  itself 
more  fully,  the  Afghan  guns  ceased  to  reply  to  Parr/s 
cannonade,  and  turned  their  fire  upon  the  former ; 
but  meanwhile  the  5th  Punjaub  Infantry,  under 
Major  McQueen,  had  pushed  vigorously  forward, 
and  were  now  close  to  the  main  ridge,  which  they 

soon  gained,  and  formed  directly  across  the  enemy's 
flank — a  powerful  position,  from  which  they 
were  shortly  after  summoned  to  reinforce  Thel- 
wall's  brigade,  which  was  being  hotly  pressed,  and 
from  this  period  in  the  action  their  connection 
with  the  I  St  Brigade  ceased.  "It  is  only  due  to 
this  fine  regiment,"  says  an  eye-witness,  "to  say 
that  they  showed  the  greatest  dash  and  gallantry. 
From  time  to  time  in  the  lulls  of  the  fight  we 
could  hear  Stirling's  guns  beyond  the  hills,  but 
their  advance  seemed  to  be  progressing  slowly. 
Ten  o'clock  was  the  hour  at  which  we  hoped  to 
see  signs  of  wavering  in  the  enemy,  induced  by  the 
arrival  of  Thelwall's  brigade  threatening  their  line 
of  retreat  But  this  hour  had  long  passed,  and 
still  the  force  on  the  kotal  seemed  unshaken.  Our 
infantry,  now  reduced  to  the  8th  Foot  and  some 
forty  or  fifty  men  who  had  become  separated  from 
other  regiments,  again  advanced,  and  this  time  got 
within  800  yards  of  the  Afghan  guns.  Still  their 
gunners  fought  them  splendidly,  under  our  wither- 
ing fire,  and  it  took  a  good  half-hour  of  fast  shoot- 
ing before  they  reluctantly  abandoned  them." 

Our  handful  of  troops  had  now  daringly,  and  in 
the  face  of  mighty  odds,  worked  their  way  upward 
close  to  the  summit  of  the  pass,  but  in  front  of 
them  they  found  a  deep  and  unforeseen  chasm, 
which  had  to  be  dipped  into ;  and  it  was  now 
seen  that,  after  ascending  the  opposite  bank  and 
traversing  a  mile  and  a  half  of  the  roadway,  if  such 
the  rocky  path  could  be  called,  the  kotal  would 
only  be  gained  then,  and  this  under  a  fire  of  cannon 
and  musketry! 

This  seemed  to  be  a  task  impossible  for  any 
troops  to  perform. 

Nevertheless,  at  two  o'clock  a  message  came 
from  the  right  column  directing  an  immediate  ad- 
vance if  the  enemy  was  wavering,  of  which  they 
had  shown  no  signs  yet  A  hasty  council  was  held, 
and  it  was  resolved  to  advance  at  once  in  the  good 
old  fashion,  and  trust  to  the  British  bayonet  It 
was  not  a  time  for  a  moment's  hesitation,  and  right 
gallantiy  did  the  soldiers  of  the  old  8th,  or  King's, 
go  to  work. 

The  fire  from  the  heights  seemed  to  fall  harm- 
lessly among  them  as  they  went  plunging  down  to 
the  road,  and  in  less  than  ten  minutes  the  kotal 
was  in  their  hands,  while  a  good  ringing  British 
cheer  rang  along  the  line,  and  the  Afghans  gave 
way,  flying  in  such  haste  that  they  left  their  tent«* 
standing,  food  ready  cooked,  and  everything  they 
had.  There,  too,  was  their  artillery  camp,  where 
the  gunners  had  left  their  silver-mounted  brass 
helmets,  as  well  as  their  guns  and  carriages,  to 
mark  their  late  occupancy.    The  helmets  had  been 

Digitized  by 




[Peiwtf  KotaL 

made  in  Cabul,  after  the  pattern  of  those  of  our 
heavy  dragoons. 

By  this  time  the  evening  was  well  advanced. 
Cannon  (i8- pounders),  waggons,  ammunition- 
boxes,  and  general  camp  equipage,  with  fragments 
of  shells  and  round-shot — even  old  Korans — lay 
in  all  directions.  Grain  was  strewed  over  all  the 
ground,  and  vast  numbers  of  loose  coats  lined 
with  sheepskin.  These  were  eagerly  appropriated 
by  our  soldiers,  as  well  as  the  half-burned  tents, 
for  the  Afghan  camp  had  caught  fire. 

Strong  pickets  were  at  once  thrown  out,  and  a 
line  of  communication  established  with  ThelwalFs 
columa  Tents  for  the  8th  came  up  at  nine  o'clock, 
but  many  had  no  other  shelter  than  the  bare  hill- 
side, but  near  a  good  fire,  as  the  cold  was  intense. 
Numerous  drums  were  found  among  the  spoil,  and 
one  relic  which  excited  no  small  surprise — a 
much-worn  shabraque  of  the  Scots  Greys — a  regi- 
ment which  has  never  been  in  India. 

The  dead  Afghans  lay  in  heaps,  and  in  one  place 
lay  six  camels,  all  killed  apparently  by  the  same 

The  view  from  the  position  was  magnificent ;  the 
whole  vast  extent  of  the  Kurram  Valley  lay  at  the 
feet  of  the  victors  ;  snow-capped  mountains  rose  to 
a  mighty  altitude  on  the  right,  that  seemed  to  dwarf 
the  really  high  hills,  covered  with  pine  forests,  on 
the  left 

The  enemy's  strength  had  been  above  4,000 
men,  which,  in  a  position  so  strong  as  the  kotal, 
was  worth  five  times  that  number  in  the  opea 
Their  gunners,  however,  had  much  to  learn  in  the 
proper  adjustment  of  time-fuses,  as  it  was  a  merci- 
ful thing  for  our  troops  that  at  least  fifty  per  cent 
of  their  shells  exploded  in  the  air. 

This,  perhaps,  may  explain  the  smallness  of  the 
total  loss  in  both  brigades.  Two  officers  were  killed 
— Major  Anderson,  of  the  23rd  Pioneers,  and  Captain 
Kelso,  of  the  Royal  Artillery,  with  twenty  rank  and 
file ;  two  officers  were  wounded — Brigadier  Cobbe 
(shot  through  the  thigh),  and  Lieutenant  Munro, 
72nd,  with  seventy  rank  and  file. 

Major  Anderson,  who  was  second  in  command 
of  his  regiment,  had  been  ordered  by  the  general 
to  clear  a  wood  in  front,  with  a  party  which  proved 
too  weak  for  the  purpose.  He  was  killed,  and  his 
body  left  in  the  hands  of  the  enemy.  It  was  after- 
wards found,  terribly  mutilated,  a  circumstance  that 
greatly  exasperated  his  brother-officers  against  the 
enemy,  "so  much  so  that  the  old  surgeon-major 
of  the  23rd  Pioneers  loaded  his  double-barrelled 
gun  with  slug  shot,  and  went  about  vowing  destruc- 
tion to  every  Cabulee.  The  doctor  was  a  great 
personal  friend  of  Major  Anderson*s,  and  his  rage 

did  him  credit,"  says  the  correspondent  of  the 
Standard^  "although  it  had,  perhaps,  one  little 
tinge  of  the  ludicrous  about  it  to  those  who  did 
not  understand  the  depth  and  sincerity  of  his 
feelings.  On  that  day,  when  the  mutilated  remains 
of  Anderson  were  found,  the  life  of  any  Cabulee 
would  not  have  been  worth  much  purchase,  if  he 
had  encountered  on  the  field  either  man  or  officer 
of  the  23rd  Pioneers." 

In  the  Spin  Gawi  Pass  groups  of  stiffened  bodies 
lay  about  the  stockades  stormed  by  the  High- 
landers and  Ghoorkas.  Many  were  those  who 
had  died  of  their  wounds,  or  been  bayoneted  to 
death  at  the  moment  they  were  attempting  to 
escape.  Every  body  had  been  stripped  by  the 
Tuns,  who  occasionally  varied  their  odious  work 
by  mutilating  and  gashing  the  slain  with  their 
deadly  charahs^  or  native  knives.  "Hanging 
round  the  necks  of  some  of  the  bodies,"  says  the 
writer  before  quoted, "  I  observed  simple  charms — 
perhaps  a  coin— perhaps  a  bit  of  silk  twisted  with 
gold.  Why  the  Turis  had  left  these  trinkets  un- 
touched I  cannot  say,  unless  it  is  that  they  draw 
the  line  of  desecration  at  trinkets,  which  are  sup- 
posed to  have  direct  communication  with  the 
mysterious  powers  of  good  and  eviL  I  saw  two 
dead  men  locked  in  each  other's  arms.  Perhaps 
they  were  brothers." 

In  one  stockade  lay  more  than  fifty  naked  dead, 
and  on  the  bare  road  of  the  Spin  Gawi,  and  among 
the  woods  of  the  Peiwar  Range,  lay  at  least  a 
ghastly  hundred  more,  stripped  and  desecrated  by 
the  Turis. 

The  Turis,  whose  chief  abode  is  in  the  Kurram 
Valley,  belong  to  the  Shiah  persuasion  of  Moham- 
medanism. Being  thus  at  variance  with  the  majority 
of  the  Pathan  and  Afghan  tribes,  they  were  not  un- 
willing, in  their  hatred  of  the  latter,  to  accept  British 

Those  who  had  joined  us  were  now  remforced 
by  their  brethren  from  the  valley,  and  they  swarmed 
over  the  deserted  camps  in  search  of  plunder. 
"  Some,"  says  Colonel  Colquhoun,  "  had  brought 
ponies,  and  even  camels,  with  them  to  carry  off 
their  spoils,  and  quickly  they  made  a  clearance  of 
everything  portable.  The  soldiers  of  the  8th,  or 
King's  Regiment,  who  had  been  allowed  to  fall  out 
for  a  time,  were  not  slow  in  annexing  the  posieens 
which  they  found,  and,  despite  their  general  dirty 
appearance,  they  were  very  glad  to  wear  them,  as 
the  cold  wind  was  beginning  to  blow  through  the 
pass,  where  it  was  freezing  hard  in  the  shade. 
Every  ruffian  who  had  come  to  the  spoil  was 
armed  with,  at  least,  his  long  Afghan  knife.  Hold- 
ing this  in  front  of  him  with  one  hand«.  each 

Digitized  by 


Ptaiwar  KotaUl 



snatched  up  all  he  could,  putting  it  away  in 
bundles  made  out  of  the  clothes  he  picked  up. 
Nothing  came  amiss  to  them ;  loaded  shells  even 
were  carried  off,  though  as  far  as  possible  they 
were  prevented  from  taking  anything  of  the  kind" 

Among  the  incidents  of  the  conflict  the  escape 
of  Oqptain  WoodtKorpe,  of  the  Engineers,  was  per- 
haps the  most  remarkable.  A  ball  struck  the  butt- 
end  of  his  pbtol,  knocking  the  weapon  to  pieces ; 
it  then  ran  round  his  back,  tore  up  his  pocket- 
book,  and  passed  through  his  tunic  in  front  Save 
that  his  back  felt  as  if  seared  by  a  hot  iron,  he  had 
no  other  injury. 

As  time  wore  on  it  became  necessary  to  put  an 
end  to  the  scene  of  confusion  that  reigned  on  and 
around  the  Peiwar  KotaL  The  "fall  in"  was 
sounded ;  the  men  stood  to  their  arms ;  the  out- 
lying pickets  were  detailed,  and  the  captured 
cannon  and  ammunition  put  in  order  for  removal 
by  the  artillery. 

Save  the  dead,  no  sign  of  the  enemy  was  visible 
anywhere.     They  had  vanished  among  the  forests, 

or  along  the  Cabul  road,  so  Colonel  Hugh  Gough, 
CB.,  V.C,  who  had  followed  with  a  few  cavalry, 
reported  that  they  were  out  of  sight 

At  four  o'clock  on  the  evening  of  the  4th  Decem- 
ber, the  wail  of  the  pipes  of  the  72nd  Highlanders, 
playing  the  slow  and  solemn  air,  "The  Land  o* 
the  Leal,"  was  borne  on  the  soughing  winter  wind 
through  the  gloomy  pme  forest  of  Zabardast 
Kala,  as  the  soldiers  bore  the  bodies  of  Major 
Anderson  and  Captain  Kelso  (who  left  a  wife  and 
several  children  to  mourn  him),  to  lay  them  side 
by  side  in  one  grave. 

General  Roberts  acted  as  chief  mourner,  and  by 
the  stretcher  in  which  each  of  the  dead  men  lay, 
stepped  the  officers  of  the  regiment  to  which  he 

Such  was  the  last  incident  connected  with  the 
Peiwar  Kotal,  and  it  was  not  without  a  very 
solemn  effect  upon  all  who  witnessed  it 

And  when  the  troops  marched,  the  unmarked 
graves  were  left  in  their  loneliness  amid  the  forest 



It  was  discovered  that  between  October  12th  and 
November  nth  the  Ameer  had  proclaimed  Sijehadf 
or  holy  war,  against  the  British,  as  a  document 
found  at  the  Peiwar  Kotal  proved 

It  stated  that  for  years  he  had  been  preparing 
the  weapons  of  war  and  instructing  his  soldiers. 
He  exhorted  all  true  Mussulmans  to  rally  round 
him  in  behalf  of  their  religion.  "Wage  a  holy 
war,"  so  ran  the  edict,  "  on  behalf  of  God  and  his 
Prophet,  with  your  property  and  your  lives.  Let 
the  rich  equip  the  poor.  Let  all  die  for  the  holy 
cause.  A  foreign  nation,  without  cause  or  the 
slightest  provocation,  has  made  up  its  mind  to 
invade  our  country  and  conquer  it" 

This  document  then  went  on  to  urge  the  Afghan 
tribes  to  a  determined  resistance  to  the  white 
infidel,  promising  Paradise  to  those  who  died  in 
battle,  everlasting  torments  in  the  next  world  to  all 
cowards  who  shunned  it,  and  ten  thousand  torments 
to  all  who  accepted  British  money.  The  English 
were  described  as  worthless  infidels,  breakers  of 
all  treaties,  a  people  animated  by  greed,  avarice, 
and  vanity,  deceit  and  treachery ;  and  this  procla- 
mation was  signed  by  the  Ameer^s  military  secretary, 
by  his  highness's  order. 

In  the  conflict  at  the  Peiwar  the  Afghans  had 
every  advantage  in  their  favour,  writes  an  eye- 
witness, "  as  the  only  point—excepting,  of  course, 
the  leadership  and  discipline  of  our  men — in  which 
the  superiority  might  have  been  on  our  side  was 
nullified  by  the  conditions  of  the  fight  Our  long- 
range  artillery  could  have  but  little  effect  on  their 
position,  while  our  rifles  in  close  fighting  were  but 
slightly  superior  to  the  Enfield  rifles  opposed  to 
them,  except  in  the  matter  of  breechloading.  They 
had  the  knowledge  of  the  ground,  in  which  we 
were  deficient;  they  had  their  own  discipline, 
which  was  good,  as  they  obeyed  their  leaders,  who 
showed  them  the  way  to  attack ;  they  were  de- 
fending their  own  country,  and  they  had  ample 
provisions  and  ammunition  to  continue  the  fight 
for  many  a  day ;  but  with  all  these  advantages  in 
their  favour  they  could  not  stand  against  the  onset 
of  our  troops  at  the  Spin  Gawi,  and  thus  gave  us 
the  key  of  the  position,  from  which  we  could 
operate  on  their  flank  and  rear.'' 

Their  captured  cannon  were  all  rifled,  brass, 
iron,  or  steel,  and  of  great  precision  at  2,500  yards. 

The  day  after  the  conflict  the  troops  moved  fix>m 
the  ground  on  which  they  had  bivouacked  to  a 

Digitized  by 





position  nearer  the  mouth  of  Peiwar  gorge,  about 
a  mile  from  Zabardast  Kala,  where  a  camp  was 
pitched,  the  8th,  or  King's,  remaining  meanwhile  at 
the  kotal,  which  was  strengthened  by  guns,  while 
the  road  in  its  vicinity  was  improved  by  our 
Sappers.  For  the  winter  General  Thelwall  was 
placed  in  command  of  the  troops,  who  were  to 
hold  that  post  and  the  village  of  Turrai,  while  the 

These  troops  halted  at  Ali  Kheyl,  ten  miles  east' 
ward  of  the  kotal,  and  on  the  Cabul  road,  after 
a  march  through  rice-fields,  passing  numerous 
villages  inhabited  by  Jagis,  who  gathered  under 
the  shadow  of  their  mud-walled  huts,  men,  women, 
and  children,  staring  in  sullen  wonder  as  the 
column  filed  past  As  usual,  the  men  were  ail 
amply  armed.  ~ 


PLAN  OF  ATTACK  ON   PEIWAR  KOTAL  (DEC    2,    1 878). 

remainder-formed  a  column  under  the  command  of 
Colonel  Barry  Drew,  and  began  the  march  for  Ali 
Kheyl  in  the  following  order : — 

The  advanced  guard  consisted  of  a  detachment 
of  the  1 2th  Bengal  Cavalry,  a  wing  of  the  23rd 
Pioneers,  and  a  mountain  battery. 

The  main  body  consisted  of  the  Duke  of  Albany's 
Highlanders,  the  2nd  and  5th  Punjaubees,  and  the 
5th  Ghoorkas. 

The  rear  guard  was  formed  by  another  wing  of 
the  23rd  Pioneers  and  four  Horse  Artillery  guns, 
carried  on  elephants. 

Ali  Kheyl  proved  to  be  a  village  of  considerable 
extent,  built  on  a  hill,  with  water  runnels  flowing 
through  all  its  principal  streets.  On  the  north  is  a 
hill — a  continuation  of  the  Safed  Koh — 1 1,800  feet 
high ;  and  on  every  hand  are  mighty  hills,  all  more 
or  less  high. 

Acting  on  information  he  received  at  this  place. 
General  Roberts  resolved  on  making  a  dash  farther 
on,  to  the  Shutai^gardan  Pass,  some  twenty-five 
miles  distant,  with  a  small  flying  column,  consisting 
of  250  Highlanders  and  250  Ghoorkas,  with  two 
guns  of  the  mountain  battery,   the  whole  corn- 

Digitized  by 





manded  by  Colonel  Brownlow,  a  veteran  of  the 
wars  in  the  Crimea  and  Central  India,  and  who  after- 
wards fell  gallantly  at  the  head  of  his  Highlanders 
at  the  battle  of  Candahar. 

He  halted  for  the  night  near  a  place  called 
Hazardaracht,  or  "the  Forest  of  the  Thousand 
Trees;"  and  next  day  the  general,  with  only  loo 
men,  pushed  on  to  the  top  of  the  Shutargardan, 
11,500  feet  high,  with  the  double  object  of  ascer- 

homes,  with  no  more  excitement  in  store  than  a 
tribal  feud,  or  an  occasional  assassination. 

The  Ghilzie  tribe,  who  dwell  in  the  vicinity  of 
Shutargardan,  and  were  supposed  to  be  favourable 
to  the  cause  of  the  Ameer,  received  our  troops  in 
the  most  friendly  manner,  as  did  many  of  the 
frontier  tribes,  whose  fighting  force  was  stated,  on 
the  authority  of  the  Punjaub  Government,  at  that 
time  to  be  not  less  than  170,200  mea 


taining  its  difficulties  and  features  with  a  view  to 
future  operations;  and  he  discovered  that  no 
point  so  formidable  as  the  Peiwar  Kotal  presented 
itself,  though  the  road  from  thence  to  Cabul 
abounded  in  narrow  and  rock-bound  defiles. 

Immediately  below  the  pass  lay  hills  that  'gra- 
dually diminished  in  height  till  they  sloped  down 
into  a  vast  and  fertile  plain  in  a  high  state  of 
cultivation,  and  dotted  by  innumerable  picturesque 
villages,  among  them  Khushi,  where  the  routed 
Afghans  were  said  to  have  rallied  after  their  dis- 
astrous defeat  Thb  rally  General  Roberts  had 
reason  to  believe  never  took  place,  the  Afghan 
soldiers  preferring  to  seek  the  quiet  of  their  own 


On  the  loth  December  the  reconnoitring  party 
returned  to  Ali  Kheyl,  where  a  company  of  the 
29th  Native  Infantry  were  to  remain  for  the  winter, 
and  next  day  the  2nd  and  5th  Punjaubees,  with 
the  Horse  Artillery,  marched  back  to  the  Kurram 
Fort,  as  the  cold  was  becoming  intense. 

General  Roberts  now  decided  to  return  by  a 
southern  route  to  the  Kurram  P  ort,  and  to  explore 
the  country  between  that  valley  and  the  Hurriab 
by  a  march  through  the  Sappri  defile;  and  on  the 
way  the  baggage  of  his  four  regiments,  although 
on  a  reduced  scale,  made — with  the  commissariat 
camels — a  somewhat  long  column. 

The   13th  of  December  saw  his  force  pushing 

Digitized  by 




[Kunam  Fort 

home  to  winter  quarters  through  a  five  miles'  gorge, 
by  a  rough  and  stony  path,  overlooked  by  many 
savage  heights  and  ridges — places  most  suitable  for 

After  a  time  a  number  of  Afghans  were  seen 
perched  high  upon  these  ridges,  watching  the 
troops  on  the  line  of  march  defiling  below  ;  but,  as 
they  were  supposed  to  be  merely  shepherds  watch- 
ing their  flocks,  no  notice  was  taken  of  them,  and  all 
except  the  5  th  Ghoorkas  pushed  on  ahead  of  the 
t>aggage  without  molestation  to  a  village  called 
Keriah,  where  the  camp  was  to  be  for  the  night 

Before  the  rear  of  the  column  had  quitted  the 
ravine  more  country  people  were  seen  collecting 
on  the  rocks,  and  when  Captain  F.  Goad,  transport 
oflftcer,  was  walking  close  to  a  part  of  the  small 
baggage  guard  of  the  Albany  Highlanders,  a  sudden 
volley  from  above  was  poured  upon  the  whole. 
Captain  Goad  fell  wounded,  his  right  thigh-bone 
being  broken  by  a  bullet,  which  passed  through  his 
left  leg  after  breaking  his  sword  and  scabbard. 

Sergeant  William  Greer,  of  the  72nd,  with  three 
other  Highlanders,  placed  him  under  shelter  of  a 
rock,  and  devoted  their  attention  to  the  enemy. 
They  were  only  four  men  against  a  great  number, 
under  good  cover  too,  but  they  could  not  desert 
a  wounded  officer  as  long  as  they  could  defend 
him ;  and  by  steady  and  careful  firing,  picking  off 
their  men  in  quick  succession,  they  kept  the  foe 
at  bay.  Ignorant  of  this,  the  main  body  of  the 
column  was  still  pushing  on,  while  the  rear-guard, 
under  Captain  Powell,  of  the  5th  Ghoorkas,  was 
being  continually  attacked  by  the  more  daring  of 
the  enemy,  who,  greedy  for  plunder,  swooped 
down  in  parties  as  the  ground  allowed  them,  while 
the  rest  kept  up  a  fire  from  above. 

Captain  Powell  received  two  wounds — one 
through  the  lungs — of  which  he  subsequently  died ; 
but  he  brought  off  the  baggage  from  his  assailants, 
who  proved  to  be  Mangals,  without  the  loss  of  a 
camel.  Our  casualties  in  this  affair  were — one  man 
killed  ;  two  officers,  eight  soldiers,  and  three  camp- 
followers  wounded  A  sick  Highlander,  who  was 
being  carried  in  a  dhooly,  fired  all  his  ammunition, 
sixty-two  rounds,  at  the  enemy,  "  and  as  he  was  a 
good  marksman,  he  never  fired  without  getting  a 
fair  shot" 

For  his  courage  and  devotion,  Sergeant  William 
Greer  was  promoted  to  lieutenancy  in  the  72nd 
Highlanders  in  April,  1879. 

Captains  Powell  and  Goad  were  buried  side  by 
side  in  a  little  cemetery,  where  the  remains  of 
several  of  our  soldiers  lie,  near  the  Kurram  Fort. 

Arrangements  were  now  made  for  the  winter 
quarters  of  the  army  in  Afghanistan. 

The  early  days  of  January,  1879,  saw  the  head- 
quarters of  the  1st  Division,  with  two  brigades 
of  infantry,  two  batteries  of  artillery,  and  some 
cavalry,  quartered  at  Jellalabad,  under  General 
Macpherson.  His  other  infantry  brigade  w^as  at 
Jumrood,  and  consisted  of  the  Guides  and  ist 
Sikhs,  under  Colonel  Jenkins. 

Brigadier  Tytler  was  at  Basawul  with  the  17  th 
Queen's,  and  at  Dakka  were  the  45th  Sikhs,  27th 
Native  Infantry,  and  Hazlerigg's  battery.  As  far 
back  as  that  place  Sir  Samuel  Browne  was  in  com- 
mand, as  chief  of  the  ist  Division.  In  rear  of  it 
was  General  Maude,  as  chief  of  the  2nd  Division. 

At  Lundi  Kotal,  midway  between  Dakka  and 
Ali  Musjid,  the  6th  Native  Infantry  were  stationed. 
Three  companies  of  Madras  Sappers  were  engaged 
on  the  improvement  of  the  road  through  the 
Khyber  Pass ;  and  with  the  troops  in  Peshawur,  it 
was  estimated  that  13,000  men  could  take  the 
field,  if  necessary. 

Two  Russian  officers,  a  doctor,  and  thirty 
Cossack  lancers,  were  at  this  time  still  in  Cabul, 
and  it  was  currently  said  that  two  Europeans  were 
seen  among  the  defenders  of  the  Peiwar  KotaL 
The  excitement  roused  by  our  victory  there  had 
partly  died  away  in  the  Kurram  and  Hurriab 
Valleys,  but  not  so  in  the  adjacent  Khost  Valley, 
through  which  flows  the  Shamil  River.  At  Budesh 
Kheyl,  on  the  Kurram,  the  hillmen  still  evinced  a 
little  hostility,  by  cutting  the  telegraph  wires,  and  a 
mollah  was  inciting  the  villagers  to  resist ;  and  in 
the  Khost  Valley  our  convoys  were  constantly 
menaced  with  attacks,  so  General  Roberts  resolved 
that  it  should  be  explored  thoroughly.  It  was  a 
district  that  no  European  had  ever  visited,  and 
was  quite  unknown ;  but  it  was  resolved  that  there 
should  be  no  movement  in  that  direction  till  early 
in  January,  that  the  troops  might  enjoy  their  well- 
earned  rest ;  and  meanwhile  the  mutineers  of  the 
29th  Native  Infantry,  and  the  two  sepoys  who  had 
given  an  alarm  by  discharging  their  rifles  on  the 
night  the  Spin  Gawi  Pass  was  attacked,  were  tried 
by  court-martial. 

The  latter,  Hazrat  Shah  and  Mira  Baz,  were 
sentenced — the  first  to  death  by  hanging,  and  the 
second  to  730  days'  imprisonment  The  rest  were 
all  transported  or  imprisoned,  for  various  periods, 
and  as  there  were  no  handcuffs  in  camp,  they  were 
secured  by  telegraph  wire. 

On  the  3rd  of  January  the  troops  detailed  for 
the  Khost  Valley  expedition,  consisting  of  a 
squadron  of  the  loth  Hussars,  the  5th  Punjaub 
Cavalry,  the  28th  Native  Infantry,  No.  2  Mountain 
Battery,  and  a  wing  of  the  72nd  Highlanders,  began 
their  march ;  then  came  the  baggage  camels  and 

Digitized  by 





mules,  the  line  of  route  being  closed  by  No.  i  Moun- 
tain Battery  and  the  21st  Punjaub  Native  Infantr)'. 
But  prior  to  detailing  its  operations  we  must  refer 
to  a  fight  that  took  place  at  Siafoodeen  on  the  4th 
of  the  same  month  with  a  portion  of  General 
Stewart's  column  in  the  vicinity  of  Candahar,  and 
menacing  that  city. 

On  this  occasion  Brigadier  Palliser  commanded 
the  advanced  guard  of  cavalry  moving  against  the 
Cabulees,  consisting  of  the  15  th  Hussars,  the  ist 
and  2nd  Punjaub  Lancers,  whose  uniform  was 
dark  blue  fisu:ed  with  red,  and  the  3rd  Scinde 
Horse.  To  this  force  had  been  added  nominally, 
the  32nd  Pioneers,  25th  Punjaub  Infantry,  the 
2nd  Beloochees  (or  29th  Bombay  Infantry),  and  a 
battery  of  Horse  Artillery. 

This  array  seems  imposing,  but  so  much  was 
the  field  strength  reduced  by  escorts,  convoys, 
water-guards,  and  so  forth,  that  it  was  far  short  of 
what  it  should  have  been.  On  the  first  day's 
march,  it  was  said  that  so  many  duties  had  to  be 
furnished,  and  so  many  men  were  occupied  in 
dragging  along  bullocks  and  waggons,  the  ist 
Brigade  dwindled  down  to  a  company  of  the  60th 
Rifles,  with  the  brass  band  of  the  regiment 

Colonel  Palliser  led  the  advance,  and  on  that 
duty  did  good  service.  At  Guaja  orders  were 
issued  that  his  brigade  should  move  in  two 
columns — the  right  under  Lieutenant-Colonel  F.  G. 
Kennedy,  of  the  Bengal  Cavalry ;  the  left  under 
himself,  strengthened  by  the  guns  and  infantry 
already  detailed 

On  the  morning  of  the  4th  he  broke  up  his 
camp  at  Shahpussan,  and  advanced  through  a 
heavy  and  blinding  storm  of  dust  to  a  place  called 
Muhammed  Ameen.  The  approach  to  the  plain 
of  Candahar  lies  through  sandy  deserts,  marked 
everywhere  by  the  furrows  of  the  last  year's  plough- 
ing, and  fertile  enough,  if  well  irrigated,  yielding 
wheat,  rice,  dates,  and  almonds. 

These  sandy  wastes  are  intersected  by  abrupt 
nmges  of  hills,  rugged  and  still  nameless.  Twelve 
miles  from  Shahpussan  rises  a  range  of  such  hills, 
chiefly  rock,  through  which  open  three  defiles, 
that  unite  on  the  road  to  Candahar,  but  are  only 
a  hundred  yards  or  so  in  length. 

The  Afghans  had  heard  enough  of  the  British 
advance  to  conceive  that  a  camp  would  be  pitched 
under  shelter  of  these  hills,  and  sent  out  two 
regiments  of  cavalry  and  one  of  militia  to  attack  it 
in  the  night 

The  Afghan  commander  posted  a  picket  of 
about  100  men  on  the  Kolcut  Peak,  and  another 
opposite  it  in  the  Golow  defile,  thus  holding  two 
commanding    positions,   both    overlooking    roads 

that  were  only  a  quarter  of  a  mile  apart     Mean- 
while the  main  body  of  his  cavalry  was  scouring 
the  vicinity,  pillaging  the  country,  the  plunder  of  ^ 
which   he  accumulated  on  some  sandy  hillocks 
three  miles  in  his  rear. 

Colonel  Kennedy,  with  the  right  column,  was 
advancing  on  the  Golow  Road,  while  Brigadier 
Palliser,  with  the  left,  passed  under  the  cliff  known 
as  the  Kolcut  Peak.  A  storm  of  dust  was  at  that 
time  sweeping  over  the  plain  of  Candahar,  and  this 
enabled  a  squadron  of  the  15  th  Hussars,  engaged 
in  scouting  and  "feeling"  the  way,  to  see  the 
Afghan  picket  before  being  themselves  seen. 

Dismounting,  with  unslung  carbines,  they  fired  a 
volley,  slew  six  pf  the  enemy,  drove  the  rest  in 
headlong  flight  towards  the  river  Dori,  and 
captured  their  baggage.  Hearing  the  firing. 
Brigadier  Palliser  moved  down  the  narrow  defile 
with  caution,  but  at  the  same  time  Colonel 
Kennedy  met  a  strong  force  of  Afghans,  debouch- 
ing from  the  Golow  defile  in  his  front 

Having  with  him  four  pieces  of  cannon,  he 
unlimbered,  opened  fire  at  once,  and  compelled  a 
retreat  Palliser  from  the  opposite  hill  heard  the 
report  of  the  guns,  and  judging  the  course 
correctly,  wheeled  his  Hussars  to  the  right  and 
rode  in  the  direction,  intending  to  cut  off  the 
flight  of  those  attacked  by  Kennedy,  though  the 
ground  there  was  awkward  for  cavalry,  its  whole 
surface  being  strewed  with  large  loose  pebbles. 

On  gaining  the  crest  of  a  ridge  which  had  con 
cealed  his  movements,  he  saw  three  strong  squad- 
rons of  horse  retiring  leisurely  from  the  pass,  and 
their  good  order  and  appearance  were  such  as  to 
deceive  every  one  for  a  moment,  especially  amid 
the  drifting  sand ;  and  they,  on  their  side,  believed 
our  Hussars  to  be  their  own  troops,  withdrawing 
from  the  Kolcut  Peak. 

But  Major  George  Luck,  of  the  15th,  command- 
ing the  Hussars,  recognised  the  dark  hairy  caps  of 
Afghans — which  had  been  at  first  mistaken  for  the 
loonjees  worn  by  our  Bengal  Cavalry — ^just  as  a  low 
ridge  intervened,  but  when  that  was  passed  the 
parties  were  only  300  yards  from  each  other. 

The  clatter  of  swords  as  they  were  swiftly  drawn 
from  their  steel  scabbards  first  let  the  Afghans 
know  their  mistake,  as  their  tulwars  are  sheathed 
in  wood,  and  they  fired  a  ragged  volley ;  but  in 
another  moment  a  hundred  British  blades  and 
forty  Bengal  lances  were  among  them,  as  our 
people  charged  with  headlong  fury.  For  the 
moment  the  enemy  stood  the  shock,  and,  then 
turning,  fled  in  wild  rout  to  Candahar. 

Twenty-four  were  killed  on  the  spot,  and  nine 
prisoners  were  taken,  and  many  must  have  got 

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away  severely  wounded,  in  a  body  of  300  men. 
Only  two  Hussars  and  five  Lancers  were  wounded 
'on  our  side ;  but  the  old  complaint  was  heard  on 
'  every  hand  about  the  wretched  regulation  swords, 
which,  as  usual,  would  not  cut ;  all  the  slain  or 
disabled,  therefore,  suffered  by  the  point  alone. 
So  it  was  in  the  Peninsula  cavalry  combats, 
when  the  French  dragoons  were  frequently  only 
bruised  and  contused  by  our  swords,  which  were, 
as  they  are  now,  made  by  manufacturers  who  are 
not  swordsmen,  whereas  in  India  they  are  made 
for  men  who,  feeling  that  their  lives  depend  upon 
their  weapons,  will  not  wear  what  they  cannot  use 
to  some  purpose.  So  it  was  with  our  Highland 
swordsmen  of  old,  who  used  the  edge  of  their 
claymores  quite  as  often  as  the  point. 

While  the  Hussars  cleared  the  way  at  the  Kolcut 
Peak,  the  two  battery  guns  attached  to  Brigadier 
Palliser*s  column  were  being  leisurely  driven  by  the 
path  which  the  Hussars  had  left.  It  must  be  re- 
membered that  the  dust-storm  was  still  blowing, 
and  the  way  lay  through  a  rocky  hollow.  Suddenly 
the  gunners  saw  three  Afghan  horsemen  within  a 
few  yards,  and  recognised  them.  The  guns  were 
wheeled  round,  and  retired  upon  the  2nd  Belooch 
and  Native  Infantry  regiments,  which  were  on  the 
march  in  their  rear. 

They  npw  came  up  at  the  double;  the  guns 
again  advanced  more  quickly.  A  hurried  move- 
ment over  very  rough  ground  brought  the  column 
to  the  bank  of  the  river  Dori,  when,  as  the  murky 
dust-clouds  began  to  settle  down,  they  perceived 
a  great  cavalry  force  occupying  a  ridge  of  sand- 
hills about  a  mile  in  front 

They  seemed  loth  to  abandon  a  very  large  herd 
of  cattle — the  plunder  of  the  adjacent  country. 
Great  bodies  of  them  were  moving  hither  and 
thither,  but  in  a  disciplined  manner  and  betraying 
no  unusual  excitement,  while  they  drove,  and  with 
sword  and  lance  goaded,  the  cattle  into  a  gorge 
between  the  sandhills.  But  now  shell  after  shell 
from  our  cannon  began  to  drop  plump  into  the 
middle  of  them,  carrying  death  and  destruction  on 
every  side. 

The  Beloochees  next  opened  fire  upon  them. 
The  cattle  were  abandoned,  and  the  whole  of  the 
horsemen,  estimated  at  1,000  or  1,200,  vanished 
among  the  sandhills.  At  two  a.m.  they  were  seen 
at  full  speed  splashing  through  the  Tamack  River, 
one  of  the  two  branches  of  the  Helmund  between 
which  Candahar  is  situated — a  long  ride  of  eight 
hours'  distance. 

On  the  following  day  our  scouting  parties  found 
eight  dead  horses,  and  a  number  of  newly-made 
graves,    where    these    Candaharis    had    evidently 

halted,  to  snatch  a  mouthful  of  food,  and  rest  their 
weary  horses. 

The  Ameer's  brother  had  come  from  Cabul  ex- 
pressly to  lead  these  men,  and  his  presence  with 
them  accounts  for  this  conflict  at  Siafoodeen.  The 
son  of  Mir  Afzul,  the  Governor  of  Candahar,  was 
also  present. 

A  short  march  on  the  morning  of  the  6th  of 
January  brought  about  a  junction  of  the  two 
divisions  at  Muhammed  Ameen,  though  it  proved 
a  long  one  for  General  Biddulph  through  the 
Golow  defile. 

A  redistribution  of  the  cavalry  now  gave  General 
Fane,  C.B.,  some  work  to  do.  He  had  assigned 
to  him  the  15th  King's  Hussars,  to  whom  were 
attached  140  sabres  of  the  3rd  Scinde  Horse,  a 
sapper  company  of  the  25th  Native  Infantry,  and 
three  Horse  Artillery  guns,  and  with  these  his 
orders  were,  to  move  along  the  western  road  to  the 
Tamack  River,  while  General  Palliser  moved  ahead 
of  him. 

As  the  troops  advanced  it  became  evident  that 
the  skirmish  at  Siafoodeen  had  greater  results  than 
would  be  due  to  its  importance  as  a  mere  engage- 
ment The  Afghans  have  a  great  belief  in  their 
own  invincibility,  and  on  the  night  of  the  affair  at 
Siafoodeen  the  villagers  of  Shahpussan  said  taunt- 
ingly to  Captain  Molloy,  the  generaPs  interpreter, 
"  Afghans  do  not  fight  at  a  distance ;  our  custom 
is  to  draw  our  swords  when  we  can  see  each  other's 

But  it  was  rather  a  mortifying  discovery  to  those 
on  the  plains  of  Candahar  that  less  than  half  their 
number  of  British  troops  would  charge  them  upon 
jaded  horses,  and,  more  than  that,  defeat  them  too. 
The  prisoners  taken  declared  that  they  thought  the 
whole  invading  force  was  behind  our  "  handful  *"  of 
the  15th  Hussars. 

"  It  may  very  likely  be  so,"  says  a  writer,  "  and 
we  may  admit  that  victory  would  have  been  dearly 
bought  had  the  trained  swordsmen  of  Cabul,  with 
their  razor-like  blades,  met  our  troopers  face  to 
face.  The  action  may  be  ranked  as  one  amongst 
many  proofs  that  fortune  is  on  our  side." 

The  fugitives  from  Siafoodeen  drew  off  our  route, 
only  halting  for  a  couple  of  hours  at  a  village  among 
the  hills.  There  they  plundered  everything  they 
could  lay  hands  on — oxen,  horses,  fodder,  and 
cash ;  thus  when  our  commissariat  officers  visited 
the  place  in  quest  of  provisions,  none  were  pro- 

Near  the  river  was  another  village  with  a  fortified 
post  of  the  Ameer's.  The  commandant,  somewhat 
to  the  surprise  of  General  Stewart,  sent  him,  by 
two  well  dressed  and  richly-accoutred  chieftains  of 

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the  place,  a  letter  in  which  he  professed  his  gocxi- 
will,  and  readiness  to  oblige;  so  supplies  of 
every  kind  were  got  there,  but  not  sufficient  in 

Though  peopled  and  richly  cultivated,  the 
country  now  occupied  by  Stewart's  column  was 
unable  to  furnish  provisions  for  an  army,  even 
though  the  inhabitants  were  permitted  to  fix  their 
own  prices. 

"Just  as  our  column  reached  a  district  where 
the  people  could  and  would  supply  us,  its  promise," 
says  a  correspondent,  "  was  blighted  by  the  out- 
rageous proceedings  of  the  Afghans.  In  the  first 
place,  every  village  is  deserted,  and  when  we 
have  persuaded  the  people  to  return,  distrust  over- 
comes even  their  love  of  money.  But  this  camp 
is  only  two  marches  from   Candahar.     We  may 

have  to  fight,  but  we  shall  certainly  get  food  as  we 
advance.  Unluckily  no  prices  are  laid  down,  nor 
any  system  of  obtaining  supplies.  Individuals  buy 
as  they  please,  and  the  highest  price  naturally  rules 
the  market  The  evil  of  this  practice  is  becoming 
so  plain,  that  the  simple  remedy  cannot  be  delayed 
much  longer." 

Spies  now  reported  that  there  were  in  Candahar 
only  4,000  horse  and  one  regiment  of  infantry, 
armed,  with  smooth-bore  muskets,  and  that  there 
were  five  siege-guns  in  the  city,  but  no  field 

As  yet  the  war,  though  one  of  toil,  had  been  of 
a  somewhat  trifling  character,  and  finally,  till  the 
terrible  Cavagnari  catastrophe,  it  dwindled  down 
into  a  series  of  detached  skirmishes  with  ferocious 



The  Ameer  had  introduced  into  his  army  many  of 
the  most  recent  improvements  in  musketry  and 
artillery,  which  were  unknown  to  it  in  the  old  wars 
of  1840  and  1841 ;  and  he  had  some  troops 
grotesquely  dressed  in  tartan  kilts,  which  they  wore 
over  breeches,  in  imitation  of  our  Highland  regi- 
ments, whose  aspect  and  bearing  had  excited  so 
much  terror  and  surprise  in  India  during  the 
Mutiny.  He  had  also  adopted  helmets  of  brass 
for  his  gunners,  but  the  costume  of  the  genuine 
Afghan  horseman  was  pretty  much  the  same  as  it 
was  in  the  days  of  our  disastrous  retreat  from 

It  consists  of  an  ample  turban  of  dyed  linen  or 
of  striped  blue  cotton,  called  a  honjecy  about 
seven  yards  long,  one  end  of  which  in  cold 
weather,  or  when  in  the  field,  for  the  double 
purpose  of  warmth  and  protection  against  a  sword 
cut,  is  wound  round  the  throat  The  cummerbund 
is  of  the  same  material,  and  answers  the  purpose  of 
a  tablecloth  and  coverlet  The  next  garment  is  a 
kooriOy  or  shirt,  fastened  down  the  right  side,  and 
not  permitting  any  of  the  body  to  be  seen.  There 
is  also  a  caftan^  or  cloak,  of  ample  dimensions, 
made  of  broadcloth  or  camel's  hair.  Loose 
trousers,  and  boots  to  the  knee,  complete  the  dress. 
The  colours  are  dark  green,  brown,  or  black. 
When  not  in  use  the  shield  is  slung  over  the  back. 

Among  their  horse  equipments,  so  lately  as  1839, 
the  Delhi  Gazette  mentions  helmets  and  breast- 
plates, but  such  appear  to  be  things  of  the  past 

An  eye-witness  describes  some  of  Shere  Ali's 
cavalry  thus  : — "  The  men  were  dressed  in  old 
British  red- cloth  uniforms,  with  white  belts,  more  or 
less  pipe-clayed,  rather  baggy  blue  cotton  trousers, 
with  long  boots  innocent  of  blacking.  The  only 
purely  native  garment  about  them  was  their  head- 
dress— a  copy  of  the  present  British  helmet ;  but 
being  made  rather  shapeless,  of  a  soft  dark  grey 
felt,  it  was  not  becoming.  The  officers  were  very 
much  the  same  as  the  men ;  but  the  colonel  who 
commanded  the  regiment  was  dressed  in  an  old 
staff*  tunic,  with  gold  embroidery.  Nearly  every 
man  carried  a  whip  with  a  wooden  handle,  which 
was  stuck  into  his  right  boot  when  not  required  ;• 
and  a  number  of  them  carried  eye-shades,  which 
were  slung  round  their  necks  when  not  in  use." 

Their  arms  would  seem  to  have  been  smooth- 
bore carbines,  carried  over  the  right  thigh,  muzzle 
downwards,  and  the  Indian  tulwar.  Their  horses 
looked  full-fed,  but  hardy,  and  superior  to  the 
general  run  of  Cabul  horses,  heavy  in  the  forehead, 
yet  well  adapted  to  a  mountainous  country. 

Among  the  petty  contests  referred  to  in  the 
preceding  chapter,  we  may  note  the  following  : — 

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78  BRITISH   BATTLES   ON    LAND   AND   SEA.  [Bunnoa 












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On  the  I  St  of  January,  a  body  of  Kuki  Kheyls 
blocked  up  the  road  between  AH  Musjid  and 
Jumrood,  but  General  Roberts  sent  out  a  force 
and  cleared  the  \s'ay ;  otherwise  there  might  have 
been  a  serious  loss  of  Povindah  camels,  500  of 
which  went  through  the  pass  about  that  time. 

Five  days  afterwards  a  strong  band  of  Mahsua 
Wazaris  made  a  raid  into  British  territory,  and 
plundered  and  burned  Tank.  On  being  attacked 
by  cavalry  they  fled   and  were  pursued  to  the 

us,  they  would  have  taken  a  deal  of  time  and 
trouble  to  punish ;  but  though  the  Ameer  did  his 
best  to  stir  them  up,  he  was  only  partially  success- 
ful, and  in  but  one  isolated  instance  was  there  any 
attack  made  on  our  border." 

But  in  consequence  of  their  menacing  Bunnoo, 
reinforcements  were  sent  to  that  part  of  the  frontier, 
and  our  officers  were  quite  prepared  The  cavalry 
attacked  a  party  of  marauders,  slew  two,  and 
captured  forty,  with  a  large  herd  of  cattle ;  while 


mountains,  and  reinforcements  were  sent  to  Dera- 
ismail-Khan  and  Bunnoo  to  prevent  a  repetition  of 
the  outrage,  as  certain  fanatical  mollahs  from 
Cabul  were  among  these  people,  inflaming  them  by 

A  section  of  the  Wazari  tribe  inhabits  the  Khost 
Valley,  of  which  we  are  about  to  treat  "The 
territory  of  the  Wazaris  extends  from  this  point  to 
Thai,  then  eastward  towards  Bunnoo,  and  south 
as  far  as  the  Gomal  Pass,  which  is  their  main  road 
to  Hindostan.  As  a  tribe,  they  are  the  finest  of 
any  on  the  north-west  frontier.  The  men  are 
physically  finer  and  braver  than  their  neighbours, 
and  if  the  tribe  had  not  been  on  good  terms  with 

the  4th  Punjaub  Cavalry  and  the  4th  Sikhs  inter- 
cepted and  attacked  another  band  of  Suleiman 
Kheyls,  and  cut  down  seventy  of  them,  our  loss 
being  only  two  killed,  Captain  Shepherd  and  nine 
soldiers  wounded. 

The  troops,  as  detailed  in  the  preceding  chapter, 
to  form  the  Khost  Valley  column,  under  General 
Roberts,  began  their  march. 

The  objects  of  the  expedition  were  to  discover 
the  resources  of  that  hitherto  unknown  district — 
the  Khost  country — in  men  and  supplies,  and  to 
ascertain  in  what  manner  the  inhabitants,  by  com- 
bination, could  affect  our  lines  of  communication, 
especially  if  we  advanced  to  CabuL 

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General  Roberts's  column  was  not  sufficiently 
strong  to  undertake  the  conquest  of  that  great 
valley,  if  the  people  were  very  hostile  ;  thus  annex- 
ation formed  no  part  of  his  i)lan  as  yet.  Another 
advantage  to  be  gained  was,  that  from  the  Khost 
Valley  we  might,  if  necessary,  despatch  a  force  to 
conquer  the  Wazari  tribes,  whose  chief  town, 
Kanigoram,  was  not  far  distant  There  was  also  a 
prospect  of  exploring  the  way  to  Ghazni,  which 
stands  beyond  the  Jadran  Mountains  and  the 
Zurmat  River. 

To  carry  out  this  last  idea,  a  much  stronger 
force  was  necessary,  as  the  mountains  to  be 
traversed  are  occupied  by  the  Mangals,  a  fierce 
and  warlike  tribe. 

"The  Khost  Valley,"  says  Colonel  Colquhoun, 
"had,  till  this  time,  been  represented  on  the  map 
by  a  blank  space ;  the  streams  which  run  into  the 
Kurram  River  at  Hazir  Pir  were  just  marked  at 
their  embouchure  as  the  roads  by  which  the 
Ameer's  sirdars  went  to  collect  the  revenue.  Be- 
yond this  fact  nothing  was  known,  except  that  the 
Afghan  governor,  after  the  flight  of  Shere  Ali,  had 
expressed  his  willingness  to  make  over  the  charge 
of  the  country  to  us.  This,  of  course,  implied  that 
the  expedition  would  be  a  quiet  walk  through  the 
country,  which  expectation  was  very  nearly  realised 
The  first  march,  and  to  a  little  distance  beyond, 
had  been  reconnoitred  by  Captain  Carr,  deputy- 
assistant  quartermaster-general,  who  reported  the 
country  open,  and  accessible  for  cavalry,  so  far  as 
he  had  seen  from  the  summit  of  the  Dhonni  Kotal, 
a  distance  of  about  fifteen  miles  from  Hazir  Pir." 

The  camp  at  Koobee  was  struck  at  eight  a.m.  on 
the  6th  January,  and  an  hour  after,  the  march  began, 
preceded  by  a  squadron  of  the  loth  Hussars,  and 
with  flanking  parties  furnished  by  the  5  th  Punjaub 
Cavalry.  The  sun  was  bright ;  the  air  was  fresh 
and  crisp. 

The  camels  and  mules,  with  tents  and  stores, 
had  been  sent  on  ahead,  and  cavalry  and  infantry 
extended  across  the  country  to  the  right  and  left 
for  their  protection.  The  line  of  march  was  stony, 
rocky,  and  jungly,  and  after  issuing  fi-om  a  pass  the 
Wazari  hills,  bathed  in  the  purple  light  of  morning, 
came  in  view,  and  many  villages  embosomed 
among  trees,  with  a  broad  yellow  plain  in  front 
Before  the  pass  was  quitted,  Akram  Khan,  the 
Naib,  with  a  band  of  ragged  and  wild-looking 
horsemen,  met  the  general,  and  rode  with  him 
towards  his  fort  of  Matoond,  which  had  towers  at 
each  corner  and  a  keep  in  the  centre.  Every 
tower  was  crowded  with  men,  whose  arms  glittered 
in  the  sunshine  as  it  streamed  through  the  loop- 

These  men  were  ordered  by  General  Roberts  to 
come  forth  and  line  the  road  They  did  so,  and 
were  all  seen  to  be  utter  tatterdemalions, 
armed  in  a  singular  and  various  manner.  "  Some 
had  belts,  from  which  hung  powder-horns,  and 
leather  pockets  for  bullets,  slugs,  and  flints ;  some 
belts  on  which  were  sewn  numerous  little  cases  for 
powder,  each  about  the  size  of  a  Snider  cartridge ; 
some  had  belts  from  which  leather  pouches  and 
long  strings  hung  down  all  round  Besides  these, 
ever}'  man  wore  a  cummerbund,  into  which  knives 
and  pistols  were  stuck  to  such  an  extent  that  it 
would  have  been  a  puzzle  to  discover  a  vacant 
place  in  which  an  additional  weapon  could  be 

As  if  to  balance  the  weight  of  these,  every  man 
carried  a  juzail,  or  flint-lock  rifle  slung  across 
his  back;,  and  at  the  head  of  each  line  were  a 
standard-bearer  and  drummer,  who  rattled  furiously 
their  calfskins  as  the  general  rode  past 

Akram  Khan  promised  to  make  over  the  fort 
and  all  the  records  of  the  valley  at  a  future  time, 
but  as  he  was  mistrusted,  the  greatest  care  was  taken 
when  the  camp  was  pitched  The  head-quarter  tent 
was  in  the  centre  ;  the  loth  Hussars  on  the  right ; 
then  the  72nd  Highlanders  and  21st  Native  In- 
fantry facing  the  east ;  the  5th  Punjaub  Cavalry  the 
south ;  and  the  rest  of  the  force  the  west,  with  the 
convoy  of  camels  between  the  two  Native  Cavalry 
corps.  No  rear-guards  were  required,  as  all  faced 
outwards,  and  the  outlying  and  inlying  pickets  slept 
fully  accoutred ;  but,  though  no  Mangals  could  be 
seen,  rumour  asserted  they  were  hovering  in  the 

By  seven  o'clock  in  the  evening  signal  fires  began 
to  blaze  on  every  hill,  shining  brightly  through  a 
hazy  moonlight ;  at  other  points  were  seen  ruddier 
flashes,  caused  by  throwing  handfuls  of  loose 
powder  upon  hot  embers ;  and  it  soon  became  but 
too  evident  that  a  vast  horde,  who  had  a  code  of 
signals  known  well  to  themselves,  were  gradually 
surrounding  the  little  column. 

"  What  are  they  doing  ?  "  "  Are  they  preparing 
for  a  night  attack!^'  were  the  constant  inquiries 
on  every  hand 

General  Roberts  rode  round  the  camp,  posted 
strong  pickets  at  the  most  vulnerable  points.  Rifle- 
pits  were  dug,  and  men  concealed  in  them ;  and  for 
that  night  no  man  unarmed  or  slept,  and  so  passed 
the  hours. 

Early  on  the  morning  of  the  7  th  it  was  an- 
nounced that  the  Mangals,  Wazaris,  and  Khostwals 
were  assembling  in  their  thousands  to  assail  the 
camp ;  and  three  camel-men,  who  had  gone  into  a 
village  to  purchase  fodder,  were  set  upon,  murdered 

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by  knives,  and  their  bodies  hacked  to  fragments  in 
the  most  horrible  manner,  while  the  foe  succeeded 
in  carrying  off  no  less  than  seventeen  camels. 

The  enemy  could  be  seen  assembling  in  great 
strength,  and  in  dusky-like  masses,  north-westward 
of  the  camp,  and  their  intentions  evidently  were  to 
make  a  simultaneous  attack  upon  it  as  soon  as  their 
forces,  scattered  through  the  valley,  could  be  got  in 

An  immediate  rush  was  made  for  the  camp 
by  all  the  muleteers  and  camel-men  who  had  gone 
out  to  seek  or  purchase  fodder;  and  the  next 
circumstance  that  attracted  attention  was  the 
manoeuvring  of  a  troop  of  the  5th  Punjaub  Cavalry, 
who  had  ridden  out  to  reconnoitre,  under  Captain 
Carr,  and  as  they  were  returning  shots  were  heard, 
and  a  cavahy  horse  was  seen  to  gallop  riderless 
across  the  open. 

The  cavalry  were  pretending  to  fall  back,  to  lure 
on  the  Mangals,  who  were  too  wary  to  fall  into  a 
snare ;  but  they  were  not  less  than  2,000  strong,  and 
arrayed  under  two  standards,  a  red  and  a  white  one. 

General  Roberts  sent  his  cavalry  out  again  in  a 
north-west  direction,  followed  by  the  28th  Native 
Infantry,  under  Colonel  Hudson,  and  a  mountain 
battery,  under  Captain  Swinley.  On  the  appearance 
of  the  cavalry,  under  Colonel  Gough,  the  occupants 
of  the  villages  in  the  plain  fled  towards  the  foot  of 
the  mountains  with  all  speed  The  squadron  of  the 
loth  Hussars  dismounted  and  skirmished  up  a 
small  knoll,  from  which  they  drove  the  enemy,  who 
placed  themselves  upon  another,  where  they  gathered 
in  a  mass. 

The  cavalry  made  some  excellent  shooting  with 
their  short  Martini-Henry  carbines,  and  this  was 
about  the  first  time  that  the  new  dismounted  exer- 
cise had  come  into  play ;  but  the  enemy  manned 
their  native  rocks,  and  blazed  away  bravely  and 
industriously,  but  very  vainly,  with  their  long  flint- 
lock and  match-lock  juzails,  while  the  shooting  of 
our  men  was  cool  and  steady,  as  if  they  had  been 
at  target  practice  on  Wormwood  Scrubs — their 
carbines  taking  effect  with  deadly  accuracy  up  to 
500  yards,  while  the  cumbrous  juzail  was  useless  at 
more  than  300  yards. 

On  discovering  this,  the  enemy  began  to  move 
off  for  loftier  rocks  and  ridges  in  their  rear,  and  the 
order  was  given  for  the  cavalry  to  mount  and  charge. 
This  was  at  once  attempted,  and  it  seemed  pretty  cer- 
tain that  many  would  be  sabred  ere  the  rocks  were 
reached  But  so  broken  was  the  ground  that  the 
cavalry  got  no  nearer  than  sixty  yards  of  them,  so 
the  fugitives  ran  safely  up  the  second  ridge,  turning 
round  only  now  and  then  to  fire  a  shot,  or  utter  a 
yell  of  rage  or  derision. 

General  Roberts  was  riding  over  to  see  what  was 
in  progress  here,  while  Barry  Drew  remained  in 
charge  of  the  camp,  with  a  mountain  battery, 
under  Major  Morgan,  a  wing  of  the  72nd  High- 
landers, under  Colonel  Clarke,  and  the  21st  Pun- 
jaubees,  under  Major  Collis,  when  suddenly  a 
startling  musketry  fire  burst  forth  on  every  side  of 
the  valley.  "  What  was  before  suspected  was  now 
apparent  Our  little  army,"  says  an  eye-witness, 
"  was  literally  surrounded  by  hostile  tribes.  Crowds 
of  nfen  could  be  seen  moving  across  the  plain 
towards  the  camp,  east,  west,  north,  and  south. 
After  inspecting  what  the  cavalry  were  doing  on 
the  northern  side,  and  seeing  that  the  enemy  were 
retreating  up  the  mountains.  General  Roberts  rode 
back  in  the  direction  of  the  camp,  and  gave  orders 
for  the  disposition  of  the  troops.  From  the  number 
of  armed  men  who  had  assembled  at  the  village  of 
Koondie  and  the  line  of  villages  extending  south- 
wards, we  could  now  see  that  the  enemy  had  not 
laid  their  plans  without  a  certain  amount  of  method. 
They  had  been  gathering  overnight  in  the  villages 
to  our  right  and  rear,  and  a  considerable  portion 
had  shown  themselves,  with  their  standards,  on  our 
left  front,  in  order  that  the  greater  part  of  our 
troops  should  be  drawn  thither,  while  their  main 
attack  should  be  made  on  our  rear  and  flanks.'' 

To  support  the  cavalry  and  the  north  generally, 
the  28th  Punjaub  Infantry  were  despatched  at  the 
double  towards  Matoond  The  left  wing,  under 
Colonel  Hudson,  Major  Hills,  and  Lieutenant 
Long,  formed  to  the  front,  and  went  forward  to  the 
valley  where  the  Hussars  and  Punjaub  Cavalry 
were  endeavouring  to  close  with  the  enemy ;  while 
three  companies,  under  Major  Marshal  and  Lieu- 
tenant Dennis,  remained  behind  in  the  open  to 
support  the  left  wing  in  case  of  necessity. 

Ere  Hudson  could  bring  his  men  into  action, 
No.  I  Mountain  Battery,  under  Captain  G.  Swinley, 
R.A.,  and  Lieutenant  E.  A.  Smith,  had  attained 
the  summit  of  the  knoll  lately  quitted  by  the 
enemy,  and  was  sending  shell  after  shell,  smoking 
and  whistling,  into  the  mountain,  up  which  the 
foe  were  wildly  climbing.  Higher  and  higher  their 
white  standard  could  be  seen  mounting,  as  the 
bearer  struggled  upward  from  rock  to  rock.  A 
shell  burst  right  over  it,  and  slew  the  mollah  or 
priest  who  bore  it  Another  picked  it  up,  waved 
it  vauntingly  above  his  head,  and  went  clambering 
on  with  the  rest 

In  a  short  time  the  Mangals  had  reached  a 
rugged  crest,  where  their  dark  figures,  in  flowing 
dresses,  could  be  seen  swarming  against  the  blue 
sky-line,  but  ere  they  reached  that  point  their 
movements  had  been  accelerated  by  the  effects  ol 

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infantry  fire.  Shells  were  now  thrown  at  them, 
but  failed  to  do  much  damage,  as  the  Mangals, 
whenever  the  gun  flashed,  threw  themselves  down 
behind  the  ridge  till  the  missile  exploded,  on  which 
they  jumped  up,  danced  wildly,  and  uttered  shrill 
yells  of  derision. 

The  cavalry  now  rode  to  the  village  near  Ma- 
toond,  where  they  came  upon  crowds  of  the  armed 
enemy,  who  fled  at  their  approach,  into  the  houses 
or  away  to  the  hills;  but  many,  however,  were 
shot  down  by  carbines. 

The  Afghans  on  the  ridge  ceased  their  dancing 
after  a  time,  and  seemed  to  dislike  the  screaming 
of  the  shells  and  the  fragments  as  they  crashed 
upon  the  rocks,  for  they  dashed  in  wild  crowds  up 
the  hill  behind  it,  and  never  stopped  till  they  got 
over  its  summit 

While  all  this  was  going  on,  elsewhere  our  men 
had  their  hands  full  on  every  side.  Cannon  were 
blazing  and  pounding  away  at  the  villages  to  the 
westward,  and  shelling  the  positions  along  the  line 
to  the  south  and  east  Fifty  Albany  Highlanders 
were  marched  out  to  the  north  of  the  camp,  lest  a 
raid  might  be  made  upon  it  in  that  direction, 
while  the  remainder  of  their  regiment  marched  to 
the  left,  to  disperse  any  of  the  enemy  that  might 
be  there. 

A  serious  attack  eventually  menaced  the  right 
front  Mangals  and  Khostwals  in  thousands,  with 
some  Wazaris,  covered  the  plain  in  front  of 
Koondie  and  other  villages  on  the  south,  where 
they  brandished  their  knives,  fired  off*  their  match- 
locks, and  yelled  what  was  supposed  to  be  their 

Brigadier  Barry  Drew  on  this,  advanced  the 
whole  force  at  his  disposal  in  a  line  that  covered 
the  camp.  Captain  Morgan's  two  mountain  guns 
were  brought  into  action,  and  threw  several  shells 
into  these  masses,  producing  a  marvellous  effect 
The  enemy  could  not  withstand  the  terror  the 
explosives  excited,  and  were  soon  seen  streaming 
off"  towards  the  villages  in  their  rear  and  towards 
the  south.  An  Afghan  cavalier  on  a  black  horse, 
who  seemed  to  be  one  in  authority,  was  killed,  and 
his  horse,  with  its  saddle  empty,  galloped  wildly 
across  the  country. 

As  soon  as  our  cannon  opened  fire  in  front,  a 
general  fusilhde  of  matchlocks  in  rear  showed 
that  the  enemy  meant  to  close  in  from  that  direc- 
tion, where  good  cover  had  been  afforded  to  them 
by  some  old  Afghan  cavalry  lines,  which  enabled 
them  in  vast  numbers  to  steal  within  half  a  mile  of 
the  camp  ;  but  they  were  completely  repulsed. 

While  all  this  was  going  on,  the  fort  of  Ma- 
toond  did  not  appear  to  be  occupied  by  the  enemy ; 

but  the  tattered  troops  of  Akram  Khan  from  its 
roof  were  watching  the  wild  work  that  was  going 
on  in  the  valley,  and  if  the  exciting  day  had  been 
unfortunate  in  the  sequel  for  our  troops,  the  Khan 
no  doubt  would  have  made  common  cause  with 
the  hordes  who  had  come  down  from  the  hills. 
On  the  previous  night  some  of  the  mysterious  flashes 
that  had  been  seen,  had  been  given  from  the 
summit  of  the  keep. 

At  three  in  the  afternoon  the  21st  Infantry  ad- 
vanced in  skirmishing  order,  their  flanks  covered  by 
cavalry,  against  the  village  of  Koondie.  One  of  the 
2 1  St  was  shot  dead  by  a  ball  fired  from  the  wall 
surrounding  the  village,  which  was  the  last  effort  of 
the  enemy  in  that  quarter  ;  as  when  a  party  of  the 
regiment  burst  in,  with  bayonets  fixed,  the  place 
was  found  to  be  completely  abandoned. 

The  chowney,  or  cantonment,  of  Akram  Khan's 
troops  had  been  occupied  at  an  early  hour  of  this 
busy  and  exciting  day  by  some  hundred  Mangals, 
who  blazed  away  over  the  walls  with  their  match- 
locks at  useless  ranges,  till  a  couple  of  guns  were 
turned  upon  the  edifice,  and  it  was  soon  evacuated, 
and  its  garrison  fled  to  a  cluster  of  villages  known 
as  Mohammed  Kheyl,  where  again  they  took  heart 
and  manned  the  boundary  walls. 

Under  Captain  Carruthers  a  party  of  the  21st 
advanced  against  them  in  extended  order,  and 
kept  up  an  independent  file-firing,  while  over  their 
heads  shells  went  plumping  into  Mohammed  Kheyl 
from  the  guns  of  Captain  Jervis.  The  latter 
proved  too  much  for  them,  and  in  a  short  time 
they  were  all  swarming  over  the  plain,  while  many 
flung  themselves  into  the  river,  in  a  desperate 
attempt  to  reach  the  Wazari  Hills. 

Major  J.  C.  Stewart,  with  forty  sabres  of  the  5th 
Punjaub  Cavalry,  now  came  on  the  ground  there 

"  You  had  better  charge,"  said  General  Roberts. 
Stewart  said  he  was  quite  ready,  but  added,  was 
he  to  make  prisoners? 

"  No — your  force  is  too  small  for  that  purpose," 
was  the  reply ;  and  away  went  the  cavalry  on  the 
spur.  "They  disappeared  from  sight  for  a  few 
seconds,  where  there  was  a  depression  in  the 
ground,"  says  an  eye-witness;  "then  they  reap- 
peared, and  in  another  minute  they  were  among 
the  fugitives!  Sabres  flashed  in  the  air,  as  each 
man  bent  down  to  his  work,  or  wheeled  to  face  a 
foe.  One  sowar  broke  his  tulwar  over  the  head  of 
an  Afghan.  He  leaped  off"  his  horse,  seized  the 
dead  man's  gigantic  knife,  and  rode  on  in  the 
charge.  The  duffadar  of  the  regiment,  and  the 
finest  swordsman  in  it,  was  chasing  a  man,  who 
turned  round  and  took  a  steady  aim  with  his 
juzail,  and  the  duffadar  fell  dead  with  a  bullet 

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through  his  brain.  Major  Stewart  was  riding  over 
a  wounded  man,  who  bent  upwards  and  made  a 
cut  at  his  horse,  which  took  effect  under  its  right 
eye,"  The  charge  was  a  brilliant  one,  if  short; 
twenty-one  Afghans  were  killed,  and  about  the  same 
number  were  severely  cut  and  slashed.  The  fugi- 
tives continued  their  flight  till  they  disappeared 
into  a  valley  which  is  occupied  by  the  Garbaz 

The  retreat  of  about  ninety  was,  however,  cut  off, 
and  they  were  made  prisoners  in  a  village  where 
they  had  taken  shelter. 

General  Roberts  now  ordered  that  all  the  villages 
we  had  taken  should  be  looted  and  destroyed — most 
welcome  news  to  the  camp>-followers,  who  were 
soon  seen  in  hot  pursuit  of  sheep  and  fowls.  The 
commissariat  department  was  early  at  the  work, 
and  secured  an  immense  quantity  of  grain  and 
upwards  of  500  head  of  cattle ;  but  hundreds  of 
tons  of  the  former  perished  in  the  subsequent 
conflagration,  which  speedily  sheeted  all  the  frail 
edifices  in  flames. 

Our  loss  during  this  stirring  day  was  only  two 
men  killed,  four  wounded,  and  three  camel-drivers 
murdered  The  enemy's  loss  was  at  least  100 
killed  and  twice  that  number  wounded,  according 
to  one  account ;  eighty  killed  and  eighty  wounded 
according  to  another.  So  much  for  the  merits 
of  the  clumsy  old  muzzle-loading  matchlock  as 
opposed  to  breech-loading  rifles  and  steel  cannon, 
and  of  discipline  against  mere  bravery.  It  was  six 
o'clock  before  the  day's  work  was  over. 

"  The  night  that  set  in  upon  this  arduous  day," 
says  the  correspondent  of  the  Standard^  **  was 
one  of  wonderful  beauty.  The  moon  shone  in  a 
blue  sky  that  was  flecked  with  ripply  snow  clouds. 
On  the  broad  plain  around  us  villages  were  burning 
luridly.  Sometimes,  as  a  roof  fell  in,  the  sprays  of 
fire  shot  high  into  the  air.  Altogether  the  scene 
was  one  as  suggestive  of  the  horrors  of  war  as 
remarkable  for  its  terrible  beauty.  The  weather 
was  cold,  but  we  had  indeed  warmed  our  hands  at 
the  villages  of  Khost" 

Before  the  moon  had  risen,  however,  the  camp 
was  roused  by  the  sound  of  firing,  the  cause  of 
which  was  very  unexpected.  It  appeared  that 
there  had  been  an  organised  attempt  to  rescue  the 
captured  prisoners,  who  were  under  a  strong  guard 
of  the  2ist  Native  Infantry,  commanded  by  a 
subahdar,  Makkan  Singh,  a  little  way  from  the 
camp,  with  an  outlying  picket  posted  150  yards 
fimher  on. 

The  prisoners  were  arranged  in  three  long  lines, 
and  all  were  ordered  to  sit  on  the  ground.  Each 
line  was   fastened   by  a  rope,  which  was  passed 

round  each  man,  and  then  secured  into  the  ground 
by  wooden  pegs.  The  plea  for  keeping  these 
prisoners  was,  that  they  belonged  to  the  Garbaz 
Wazari  tribe,  unconnected  with  the  Khost  country, 
and  should  each,  before  being  released,  pay  a  fine 
of  fifty  rupees  for  helping  the  Mangals  in  the 
mischief  they  had  done. 

Two  rifle-shots  had  been  heard  that  do  not 
seem  to  have  been  fully  accounted  for,  and  the 
prisoners  imagined  they  were  the  signal  of  an 
attempted  rescue.  They  accordingly  sprang  from 
the  ground  simultaneously,  and  began  furiously  to 
sway  from  side  to  side,  in  the  hope  of  breaking  the 
ropes,  or  tearing  up  the  stakes  to  which  they  were 

Their  excitement  was  terrible  to  witness.  Several 
snatched  at  the  rifles  of  the  sepoy  guard,  and  tried 
to  wrest  them  away ;  hence  ensued  a  series  of 
desperate  personal  combats,  in  which  three  rifles 
were  broken.  One  powerful  Wazari  contrived  to 
get  clear  of  his  rope,  and,  though  bayoneted  in 
the  leg,  rushed  away — only  to  be  fired  on  by  the 
outlying  picket,  and  killed.  Another  who  got  free 
from  his  bonds,  was  shot  dead  by  the  revolver  of  a 
native  officer. 

Makkan  Singh  saw  that  unless  extreme  measures 
were  immediately  taken  the  whole  prisoners  might 
break  loose  and  effect  their  escape.  So  while  these 
masses  of  excited  and  desperate  men  were  swaying 
and  wildly  wrenching,  the  guard  loaded,  and  either 
shot  down  or  bayoneted  every  man  who  persisted 
in  struggling.  Sobered  by  this  terrible  punishment, 
seeing  the  dead  men  hanging  in  the  ropes,  and  by 
the  groans  and  cries  of  others  who  were  bleeding 
and  dying,  all  who  were  untouched  crouched  and 
grovelled  on  the  ground  helplessly  and  in  terror. 

They  bent  forward  their  heads,  nor  dared  to 
raise  them  up.  For  a  time  it  was  difficult  to  tell 
who  were  dead  or  who  alive,  so  still  did  they  lie, 
until  the  soldiers  undid  the  ropes,  and  separated 
them  from  each  other. 

The  dead  were  placed  in  the  centre,  and  the 
wounded  were  left  to  sit  as  they  were,  tied  to  other 
men;  it  was  then  ascertained  that  ten  had  been 
shot  or  bayoneted  to  death,  and  twelve  others 
wounded  more  or  less  severely.  For  that  night 
nothing,  save  rough  bandaging,  could  be  done  for 
the  latter. 

They  were  all  put  close  together  :  a  large  tar- 
paulin was  spread  over  them  to  exclude  the  biting 
wind,  and  thus  they  lay  till  morning.  Thinly 
clothed  as  most  of  them  were,  almost  shelterless, 
and  with  the  thermometer  falling  below  freezing 
point,  their  sufferings  must  have  been  great. 

On  Thursday  morning  the  political  oflUccr  with 

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the  column,  Colonel  Waterfield,  accompanied  by  a 
troop  of  cavalry,  made  a  circuit  of  the  villages 
near  Matoond,  and  could  find  no  appearance  of 
the  enemy. 

General  Roberts,  full  of  pity  for  the  wretched 
prisoners,  after  ail  they  had  undergone,  released 
all  the  survivors  of  the  night*s  calamity,  for  which 
they  seemed  very  grateful  They  humbly  salaamed, 
and  would  have  kissed  his  feet,  had  he  permitted 
them,   ere    they  departed,   with   orders   to  bring 

ultimately  the  village  of  Durgai,  belonging  to  the 
Thunnies  at  its  southern  end,  all  places  where  no 
European  foot,  probably,  had  ever  trod  before 

On  the  15  th  of  January  his  camp  was  in  the 
plain  of  Matun,  or  Matoon,  and  on  the  20th  he 
ordered  a  royal  salute  to  be  fired,  in  honour  of  the 
capture  of  Candahar,  intelligence  of  which  had 
been  telegraphed  to  him  by  the  Government 

Sir  Donald  Stewart,  with  his  division,  had  been 
pushing  on  to  Candahar,  which  is  the  principal 


provisions  into  camp,  for  which  they  would  be 

On  the  loth  of  January,  a  company  of  the  12  th 
Native  Infantry,  with  band  playing  merrily  and 
colours  flying,  under  the  Subahdar  Makkan  Singh, 
took  possession  of  Akram  Khan's  old  fort  at 
Matoond,  which  was  to  be  utilised  as  a  hospital. 
Three  red  silk  triangular  pennons,  a  dozen  of  old 
matchlocks,  some  iron  and  powder,  were  the  only 
things  found  in  it.  Major  Collis  was  appointed 

Further  explorations  of  the  great  Khost  Valley 
were  continued  by  General  Roberts,  accompanied 
by  Akram   Khan,   till  he  reached   Dehgan,  and 

city  in  Western  Afghanistan.  On  the  4th  of 
January,  Major  Luck,  of  the  15  th  Hussars,  with 
100  men  of  his  regiment  and  thirty  of  the  ist 
Punjaub  Cavalry,  when  reconnoitring  in  a  place 
called  the  Mel  Pass,  north  of  the  camp  at  Zaker, 
met  some  of  the  enemy's  mounted  scouts,  and  in 
pursuing  them  came  upon  200  Mohammedan 
fanatics,  among  whom  were  many  moUahs,  drawn 
up  to  dispute  his  passage. 

The  moment  Luck's  party  came  within  view 
they  rushed  down  towards  it,  screaming,  yelling, 
gesticulating  frantically,  and  brandishing  their 
weapons,  till  they  came  within  200  yards  of  the 
cavalry,  who  poured  into  them  a  volley  from  their 

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carbines,  on  which  they  fled  up  the  steep  ravines, 
where  it  was  impossible  to  follow  them,  but  not 
before  they  had  killed  five  of  the  15  th  Hussars 
and  wounded  many  more.  The  chief  mollah  and 
several  of  the  enemy  were  killed,  and  all  their  tents 
and  baggage  taken. 

On  his  return  to  head-quarters,  Major  Luck  was 
ordered  to  join  Colonel  Kennedy,  and  soon  after 
surprised  a  party  of  Afghan  cavalry  in  a  gap  of 
the  hills,  and  a  sharp  engagement  ensued.  Here 
the  Ameer's  first  and  second  horse  regiments  were 

column  halted  at  Khusab,  a  small  town  about 
fifteen  miles  from  Candahar,  and  on  the  following 
day  he  was  at  Zaker  by  eleven  o'clock,  three  miles 
from  the  city,  which  he  entered  at  noon,  followed 
by  General  Biddulph  and  his  force.  They  passed 
through  the  Shikarpore  Gate,  and  were  accom- 
panied by  the  leading  inhabitants,  the  Ghilzie, 
Seistan,  and  other  chiefs. 

Thus,  this  important  city,  the  key  of  the  whole 
country,  became  ours  without  firing  another  shot, 
having  been  deserted  by  the  troops  of  the  Ameer, 

Approz.  8oale  of  Miles. 

Tyf9grafhif  Etching  C«.,sc. 


engaged,  while  a  third  acted  as  a  reserve.  His 
brother  was  also  present 

The  Afghans  were  routed,  with  loss  of  150  men, 
and  in  this  gallant  little  combat  each  ofi^cer  of 
Hussars  slew  his  man,  for  it  was  a  hand-to-hand 
affair.  Major  Luck  killed  two,  and  the  Hon. 
Rupert  Leigh,  a  young  lieutenant,  after  a  sharp 
encounter  with  a  gigantic  Afghan,  made  him 
prisoner.  The  general  physique  of  our  adver- 
saries, judging  from  the  prisoners  generally,  was 
alleged  to  be  uncommonly  fine ;  and  it  was  con- 
sidered rather  significant  that  Russian  gold  coins, 
of  the  mintage  of  1878,  were  found  upon  their 

On  the  15  th  of  January,  Sir  Donald  Ste worths 

whose  last  battalion  there,  had  fled  that  morning 
to  Cabul. 

The  wing  of  a  Punjaub  regiment  garrisoned  the 
citadel,  the  walls  of  which  have  withstood  the 
cannon  of  Aurungzebe  and  echoed  to  those  of  its 
conqueror.  Nadir  Shah.  Great  quantities  of 
powder,  shell,  and  small-arm  ammunition  were 
found  in  it  by  Sir  Donald  Stewart,  but  no  artillery, 
save  one  howitzer  and  one  gun. 

The  whole  city  seemed  perfectly  quiet ;  deputa- 
tions of  the  trade  guilds  waited  upon  Sir  Donald ; 
measures  were  put  in  progress  to  rectify  the  absence 
of  all  constituted  authority,  and  business  was  carried 
on  without  difficulty. 

Two  days  afterwards,  the  report  of  musket-shots 

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rang  in  the  streets,  and  an  Afghan  fanatic,  bleeding 
with  wounds  and  brandishing  a  bloody  charah^  or 
native  knife,  was  seen  rushing  about  in  a  state  of 
religious  frenzy.  Many  of  our  soldiers  drew  their 
side-arms  and  tried  to  bayonet  him.  With  a 
sudden  lunge  he  drove  his  charah  into  the  body  of  a 
rifleman,  but  next  moment  was  cut  down  by  the 
sword  of  a  Native  Cavalry  officer. 

Prior  to  this,  he  had  wounded  in  the  hand  Cap- 
tain Harvey,  who  had  run  his  sword  through  his 
neck ;  he  had  stabbed  Lieutenant  Willis,  of  the 
Artillery,  dangerously  in  the  breast,  and  severely 
wounded  a  sergeant  and  gunner  of  the  same  corps. 
Lieutenant  Willis  died  soon  after  of  his  wound 

Taking  advantage  of  the  temporary  confusion 
thus  occasioned,  a  sepoy  of  the  Ameer's  disbanded 
infantry  seized  the  bridle  of  Major  St  John's  horse 
and  daringly  fired  a  pistol  at  him.  He  missed  the 
major,  but  was  cut  down,  taken,  and  hanged  next  day. 

By  express  order  of  the  Ameer,  his  father-in-law, 
Mir  Afzul  Khan,  the  fugitive  governor  of  Candahar, 
was  ordered  to  harangue  the  tribes  of  the  Pishin 
Valley,  in  Southern  Afghanistan,  which  is  inhabited 
chiefly  by  the  Tereens,  and  is  crossed  by  the  great 
caravan  road  through  the  Khojuk  and  Bolan 
Passes.  He  informed  them  that  troops  had  been 
dispatched  from  Herat  to  Candahar,  and  that  the 
great  warlike  tribes  upon  the  Punjaub  frontier  had 
all  been  collected  for  an  immediate  attack  upon 
the  British.  He  urged  instant  hostilities  on  be- 
half of  the  Ameer,,  and  pointed  out  how  petty 
injuries  might  be  inflicted  upon  the  invaders. 
The  Mir  added,  on  his  own  account,  that  on  the 
4th  and  5  th  instant  brilliant  victories  had  been 
achieved  over  them  by  the  Afghan  troops. 

The  result  of  all  this  was  a  series  of  very 
murderous  outrages  at  Pishin  and  elsewhere.  A 
night  attack  was  made  on  the  ist  Punjaub  In- 
fantry, who  gallantly  repulsed  it,  and  slew  many  of 
their  assailants,  while  large  bodies  of  disbanded 
Afghan  soldiers,  wandering  about,  made  the  frontier 
roads  everywhere  perilous.  But  General  Stewart, 
with  a  column,  now  began  his  march  towards 
Khelat-i-Ghilzie ;  and  General  Biddulph  with 
another  towards  Girishk. 

Meanwhile  General  Roberts,  with  the  Khost 
Valley  column,  was  not  idle. 

Captain  Arthur  Conolly,  of  the  Meywar  Bheel 
Corps,  was  now  selected  to  raise  and  command  a 
body  of  Khost  levies,  200  horse  and  200  foot,  to 
replace  the  garrison  first  detailed  to  hold  the  valley. 
The  Khostwals  would  not  take  service,  so  the  ranks 
of  this  new  force  were  chiefly  filled  by  the  Turis, 
who  had  no  fear  of  the  Mangals. 

On  the  23rd  of  January  General  Roberts  was 

informed  that  a  great  force  of  the  latter  was  col- 
lecting again  about  twelve  miles  distant,  with  a  view 
of  making  an  onslaught  on  the  camp  by  night  To 
break  the  force  of  such  a  movement  as  this  he  re- 
solved to  entrench  the  post  completely,  before 
dusk,  under  the  direction  of  Captain  J.  A.  S. 
Colquhoun,  R.A.  There  was  a  great  scarcity  of 
trenching  tools,  and  there  were  no  baskets  wherein 
to  carry  earth,  thus  it  was  impossible  to  execute 
such  a  work  within  the  given  time  The  fort  and 
walled  garden  were,  of  course,  included  in  the  line 
of  defences,  and  though  the  troops  worked  with 
hearty  goodwill,  there  was  still  a  gap  on  the  southern 
face,  which  it  was  necessary  to  fill  up  before  dusk 
came,  and  for  this  purpose  the  saddles  of  the  1,200 
camels  which  were  in  camp,  when  placed  three 
high,  made  a  breastwork  400  yards  long,  and  just 
made  up  the  space,  fpicketed  down  by  ropes  and 
tent-pegs,  to  prevent  them  fi-om  being  overthrown. 

Meanwhile  a  party  of  cavalry,  under  Colonel 
Gough,  reconnoitred  for  six  miles  beyond  the  village 
of  Dehgan,  and  discovered,  by  the  hostile  attitude 
of  the  inhabitants,  that  the  Mangals  were  certainly 
hidden  there,  though  he  saw  none ;  and  no  shots 
were  fired,  but  charahs  were  brandished  in  the 
faces  of  the  troops  as  they  passed.  But  tidings 
that  the  camp  was  fortified,  and  the  firing  of  a  few 
star-shells  by  night,  each  brilliantly  illuminating  the 
ground  for  a  space  of  800  yards  by  400,  so  eflec- 
tually  scared  the  Mangals  that  no  attack  was  made 

On  the  25th  the  general  held  a  durbar,  at  which 
most  of  the  head  men  of  the  valley  were  present 
He  told  them  that  the  quarrel  of  the  British  was  with 
the  Ameer  alone,  as  he  was  under  Russian  influence, 
and  "  buoyed  up  with  the  hopes  of  men,  arms,  and 
money,''  from  a  treasury  now  empty  after  the 
Turkish  war,  and  that  if  he  persisted  in  fighting  he 
would  have  to  follow  his  father.  He  added,  that 
he  (the  general)  had  no  desire  to  hurt  the  men 
of  the  valley  if  they  would  only  keep  the  peace. 
Food  and  money  were  given  to  them ;  but,  says 
Colonel  Colquhoun,  "their  unkempt  and  savage 
appearance  was  heightened  by  the  wild  look  in 
their  eyes,  which  was  comparable  to  nothing  but 
the  restless  glance  of  a  wild  animal,  always  on  the 
watch  for  prey  and  enemies." 

The  general  having  marched  his  column  to  a 
place  called  Sabbri,  about  twelve  miles  distant,  had 
barely  arrived  at  that  place  when  an  express  reached 
him,  at  ten  o'clock,  to  the  effect  that  the  news  of  his 
departure  had  excited  the  restless  Mangals,  who 
were  gathering  in  force  to  storm  the  camp  at  Ma- 
toond,  and  destroy  all  therein.  Thus  to  relieve  it 
became  his  first  object 

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On  the  29th  of  January  he  started  from  Sabbri 
at  daybreak  with  the  squadron  of  the  loth  Hussars, 
the  3rd  Punjaub  Cavaby,  part  of  the  Highlanders, 
the  28th  Punjaub  Native  Infantry,  and  No.  2 
Mountain  Battery,  leaving  Barry  Drew  in  com- 
mand of  the  rest,  in  an  entrenched  camp ;  for  the 
gathering  of  the  Mangals  was  evidently  a  serious 
one,  and  they  could  easily  detach  some  3,000  men  to 
attack  his  isolated  force,  so  breastworks  were  con- 
structed of  officers'  baggage,  soldiers'  kits,  camel 
saddles,  and  everything  that  was  available.  It  was 
'  a  clear  morning ;  a  faint  mist  like  a  gauze  veil  lay 
in  the  valleys,  and  the  pine-trees,  gemmed  with 
frost,  sparkled  in  the  early  light  as  the  troops 
marched  on. 

Captain  Wynne,  with  a  party  of  signallers,  now 
ascended  the  southern  range.  From  the  peak  of 
one  of  the  hills  he  was  able  to  overlook  the  Ma- 
toond  plain  and  fort,  and  **he  signalled  about 
twelve  o'clock  that  the  whole  valley  was  black 
with  the  crowds  of  Mangals  that  had  come  down." 

The  sudden  appearance  of  Roberts  about  half- 
past  nine  am.  disconcerted  them ;  they  were  pre- 
pared to  make  a  pitiless  massacre  of  the  300  men 
he  had  left  at  Matoond,  but  not  to  face  the  column 
¥rith  which  he  approached  it  now. 

The  general,  on  relieving  his  little  garrison, 
resolved  to  empty  the  fort  and  abandon  it  The 
powder  was  thrown  loose  into  the  wet  ditch ;  the 
bullets  and  flints  were  pocketed  by  the  levies,  and 
all  the  grain  that  could  not  be  carried  o£f  was 
destroyed  by  fire,  while  the  enemy,  about  6,000 
strong,  hovered  at  a  little  distance,  looking  oa 

At  noon  the  retreat  began.  The  28th  Punjaubees 
and  the  mountain  battery  moved  off,  while  the 
cavalry  trotted  out  briskly,  and  took  up  a  position 
within  a  mile  of  the  enemy.  Under  Captain 
Bulkeley,  the  squadron  of  the  loth  Hussars  was 
thrown  out  in  skirmishing  order  about  600  yards  in 
advance  of  the  Native  Cavalry,  and  some  of  the 
marksmen  dismounted  to  try  the  effect  of  their 
Martini-Henry  carbines  on  the  dark  masses  of  the 
enemy.  Shrieks  and  cries  of  rage  and  agony 
followed  every  shot,  and  many  were  seen  to  toss 
up  their  arms  wildly,  and  fall  forward  on  the  earth 

Encouraged  by  the  slender  aspect  of  the  line 
attacking  them,  the  Mangals,  under  the  orders  of 
their  leaders,  many  of  whom  were  well  mounted, 
rode  forward  regularly  skirmishing,  till  they  came 
within  range  of  the  carbines,  and  then  one  com- 
mander, whose  white  horse  rendered  him  very 
conspicuous  against  the  dark  background  of  the 
crowds  behind  him,  fell  from  his  saddle,  to  ride  no 

So  dense  were  the  masses  of  the  enemy  that 
every  bullet  must  have  told,  some,  perhaps,  twice. 
The  fall  of  the  white  horseman,  and  the  firing  of 
the  loth,  averted  the  forward  movement ;  and  on 
our  skirmishers  remounting,  and  trotting  back  on 
their  supports,  the  movement  was  conceived  to  be 
not  a  panic,  but  a  desire  to  lure  them  into  the  open, 
when  our  cavalry  could  charge  and  ride  through 
them  sabre  d  la  main. 

While  the  cavalry  covered  their  rear,  the  infantry 
and  artillery  by  half-past  twelve  were  three  miles 
and  a  half  from  the  enemy,  and  then  the  trumpet 
sounded  to  cease  carbine  firing,  and  retire — a 
movement  effected  as  if  upon  parade,  by  alternate 
squadrons,  and  ere  long  the  halted  Mangals  were 
seen  swarming  into  the  abandoned  fort  and 
trenches,  doubtless  in  search  of  plunder;  and  by 
five  p.m.  the  whole  force  was  united  in  the  camp 
at  Sabbri,  after  a  march  of  twenty-four  miles. 

Lest  the  restless  Mangals  might  yet  make  an 
attack  in  the  night,  every  precaution  was  taken, 
with  camel-saddles  and  so  forth  to  strengthen  the 
defences  round  the  tents.  Next  day  the  march  of 
exploration  was  resumed,  till  the  column  reached  a 
gorge  in  the  mountains,  and  the  troops  saw  at  their 
feet  the  whole  country  that  intervened  between  the 
Khost  and  Kurram  Valleys. 

That  night  the  camp  was  pitched  on  dry  terraced 
paddy  fields,  and  by  nine  next  morning  the  force 
had  pushed  on  to  Hazir  Pir. 

Brigadier  Thelwall,  C.B.,  commanding  at  the 
Peiwar  Kotal,  had  reported  an  expected  attack 
upon  that  post  by  the  Mangals,  a  tribe,  says 
Colquhoun,  which  can  always  "furnish  about 
20,000  fighting  men,  armed,  like  their  neighbours, 
with  matchlocks  of  varying  excellence,  and  the 
usual  knives.  The  tribe,  being  off  any  of  the  roads 
troubled  by  Afghan  troops,  did  not  come  much 
into  contact  with  the  Afghan  Government,  and 
considered  itself  virtually  independent,  though 
acknowledging  in  a  way  the  supremacy  of  Cabul, 
so  long  as  its  obedience  was  not  tested  by  a  demand 
for  tribute  or  taxes." 

It  was  fortunate  our  slender  force,  broken  up 
as  it  was,  was  not  attacked  by  the  Mangals  in  all 
their  united  strength,  as  in  that  case  it  might  have 
been  annihilated. 

When  they  purposed  to  attack  the  Peiwar  Kotal 
its  garrison  consisted  of  only  four  weak  companies 
of  the  8th,  or  King's,  under  Major  Tanner ;  three 
Royal  Artillery  guns,  under  Major  Perry ;  the  2nd 
Punjaub  Infantry,  under  Lieutenant-Colonel  Tyn- 
dall ;  a  party  of  the  12th  Bengal  Cavalry,  and  the 
company  of  Sappers  and  Miners — all  mustered 
only  1,000  men. 

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The  Mangals,  who  were  to  make  the  attempt 
simultaneously  with  the  attack  on  Matoond,  were 
4,000  strong,  aided  by  2,000  of  the  Hasan  Kheyl 
Jajis.  They  laid  their  plans  well,  and  the  secret  of 
their  movements  was  excellently  kept ;  and  it  was 
only  at  midnight  on  the  4th  of  January  that  our 
express  from  Ali  Kheyl  reached  Brigadier  Thelwall, 
informing  him  that  the  kotal  would  be  attacked  by 
6,000  men,  but  that  the  time  of  their  doing  so  was 

They  came  pouring  down  the  Hurriab  Valley, 
while  a  few  for  food  turned  off  to  the  village  of  Ali 
Kheyl,  where  there  resided  one  solitary  European, 
Captain  Rennick,  as  the  representative  of  the 
British  Government — an  isolated  and  desperate 
situation.  Rennick  knew  that  if  he  was  slain  his 
death  would  be  amply  avenged ;  but  he  had 
attached  to  him  the  villagers  of  the  place,  which  is 
about  twelve  miles  westward  of  the  kotaL 

When  our  cavalry  vedettes  at  a  place  called  Byan 
Kheyl  reported  the  advance  of  the  Mangals  into  the 
Hurriab  Valley,  Brigadier  Thelwall  prepared  at  once 
for  resistance. 

His  main  defences  consisted  now  of  block- 
houses on  three  points,  all  within  rifle  range  of  each 
other,  forming  three  angles  of  an  isosceles  triangle, 
with  sides  about  500  yards  long,  and  a  base  of  650 

Round  these  block-houses,  an  abattis  of  felled 
trees  formed  an  outer  line  of  defence.  Two 
cannon  armed  the  house  at  the  apex  of  the  triangle, 
and  a  third  was  placed  in  the  southern  block-house, 
in  front  of  which  a  company  of  the  8th  was  hutted. 
But  the  little  garrison  felt  that  to  face  a  foe  in 
daylight,  when  the  means  of  attack  and  defence 
were  visible,  was  a  simple  matter  with  the  same  duty 
in  the  gloom  of  a  winter  night,  and  when  the  dense 
pine  forests  prevented  the  approach  of  an  enemy 
from  being  seen  till  all  were  muzzle  to  muzzle. 

As  the  attack  appeared  to  be  postponed,  Thel- 
wall sent  to  Habib  Kila  and  the  Kurram  Fort  for 
reinforcements,  and  accordingly  150  Highlanders 
and  200  Ghoorkas  reached  him,  after  a  march  of 
nineteen  miles,  with  the  Peiwar  Kotal  to  climb 
at  the  end,  in  six  hours ;  so  the  expected  attack 
came  to  nothing,  and  the  Mangals  retired  to  their 

native  fastnesses,  without  even  prevailing  on  the 
Jajis  of  Ali  Kheyl  to  surrender  Captain  Rennick  as 
a  victim  to  their  knives. 

Elsewhere  the  movements  of  our  troops  were  all 
successful.  On  the  29th  of  January  Sir  Donald 
Stewart  reached  Khelat-i-Ghilzie,  and  captured  it 
without  firing  a  shot,  its  garrison,  500  of  the 
Ameer's  militia,  taking  to  flight  at  his  approach. 

On  the  same  day  General  Biddulph  entered 
Girishk,  where  he  threw  a  pontoon  bridge  over  the 
Helmund,  and  was  welcomed  by  the  inhabitants  as 
a  deliverer.  Here  the  fort  is  a  formidable  one,  as 
it  commands  the  right  bank  of  the  river  and  the 
approaches  to  a  ford. 

From  Khelat-i-Ghilzie  attempts  were  made  to 
communicate  with  General  Roberts's  column  by 
native  runners. 

Prior  to  the  intended  advance  on  Cabul,  for 
which  preparations  began  early  in  February,  the 
movements  and  events  were  all  of  a  minor  nature  ; 
but  amid  them  a  Victoria  Cross  was  won  by 
Lieutenant  Reginald  Clare  Hart,  of  the  Royal 
Engineers,  an  oflficer  who  had  already  distinguished 
himself  elsewhere  by  saving  human  life. 

He  won  his  cross,  as  the  Gazette  records,  for 
hb  gallant  conduct  in  risking  his  life  to  save  that 
of  a  private  soldier.  "The  Lieutenant-General 
commanding  the  2nd  Division  of  the  Peshawur 
Valley  Field  Force,  reports  that  when  on  convoy 
duty  with  that  force,  on  the  31st  of  January,  1879, 
Lieutenant  Hart,  R.E.,  took  the  initiative  in  run- 
ning some  1,200  yards  to  the  rescue  of  a  wounded 
sowar  of  the  13th  Bengal  Lancers,  in  a  river-bed, 
exposed  to  the  fire  of  the  enemy,  of  unknown 
strength,  from  both  flanks,  and  also  from  a  party  in 
the  river.  Lieutenant  Hart  reached  the  sowar, 
drove  off*  the  enemy,  and  brought  him  in  under 
cover  with  the  aid  of  some  soldiers  who  accom- 
panied him  on  the  way." 

On  the  return  march  from  Girishk,  Biddulph's 
rear-guard,  the  3rd  Scinde  Horse,  was  suddenly 
attacked  at  Khushi  -  Nakhud  by  some  2,000 
Dooranees,  who  were  beaten  off*  with  the  loss  of 
150  cut  down,  but  not  before  Major  Reynolds  and 
five  troopers  were  killed,  and  Colonel  Malcolmson, 
with  eleven  others,  wounded. 

Digitized  by 







At  length  the  Ameer  was  beginning  to  find  the 
hopelessness  of  his  cause.  On  the  13th  of 
December  he  had  fled  from  Cabul,  intending  to 
visit  General  Kauffmann  at  Tashkend,  in  Central 
Asia ;  but  he  was  seriously  ill  before  he  started, 
and  after  enduring  much  agony  from  gangrene,  he 
died  at  a  place  called  Mazar-i-Sherif,  in  the 
northern  part  of  Afghanistan,  on  the  21st  of 
February,  1879,  and  was  succeeded  by  his  son, 
Yakoub  Khan,  with  whom  he  had  been  at 
variance,  but  whom  he  had  released  just  before 
his  flight  from  CabuL 

For  a  time  it  was  thought  that  the  death  of 
Shere  Ali,  and  the  succession  of  Yakoub,  would 
complicate  matters  in  Afghanistan,  and  some 
unpleasant  episodes  were  reported  from  Jellalabad, 
where,  in  March,  Sir  Samuel  Browne  was  concen- 
trating his  force,  while  General  Maude  relieved 
his  post  between  that  place  and  Dakka.  Roberts 
was  at  the  same  time  concentrating  his  troops  at 
the  Peiwar  Pass,  and  improving  the  road  for  the 
passage  of  guns  and  baggage  in  the  Cabul  direction 
at  Shutargardan. 

Near  Maidonak,  in  the  Shinwarri  country,  a 
surveying  party  was  attacked  ;  a  non-commissioned 
officer  was  killed,  and  Captain  Leach  and  Lieutenant 
Barclay  were  wounded,  the  latter  severely.  A  force, 
under  General  Tytler,  marched  against  the  offenders, 
who  came  to  immediate  terms,  which  included  fines, 
the  destruction  of  all  their  fortified  towers,  and  the 
giving  of  hostages  for  the  peaceful  escort  of  the 
surveying  party  over  all  their  country.  But  this  did 
not  prevent  two  grasscutters  from  being  barbarously 
murdered  among  the  hills ;  while  at  Dakka  some 
camels  of  the  Bhopal  battalion  were  carried  ofi^  and 
two  men  of  the  17  th  were  killed  on  guard  The 
tel^raph  wires  were  fi-equently  cut,  and  all  these 
disturbances  were  attributed  to  Yakoub  Khan's 
instructions  to  Abdullah  Mir. 

In  consequence  of  threatened  attacks  by  hostile 
tribes  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Jellalabad  and 
Lughman,  an  expedition  early  in  the  month  of 
March  was  sent  to  the  latter  district,  under 
Brigadier-General  Jenkins,  and  proved  a  very  suc- 
cessful movement,  with  important  political  results. 

Lughman  lies  on  the  north  of  the  Jellalabad 
valley;  it  extends  to  the  lower  ridges  of  the 
Hindoo  Koosh,  and  is  bordered  on  the  east  by 

Kafiristan.  The  expedition  marched  from  Jellala- 
bad by  the  newly-made  bridge  over  the  Cabul 
River,  and  was  absent  four  days.  The  ill-fated 
Louis  Cavagnari  accompanied  it ;  the  people  seemed 
well  disposed,  and  came  from  their  villages  in 
thousands  to  gaze  upon  the  Feringhees,  and  there 
occurred  only  one  unpleasant  incident 

A  man  came  out  of  a  village  holding  an  axe, 
concealed  behind  his  back,  with  one  hand,  while 
with  the  other  he  seized  the  bridle  of  a  horse 
belonging  to  one  of  the  Guide  Cavalry.  This  led 
to  the  natural  assumption  that  he  was  a  Ghazi  bent 
on  mischief,  so  the  rider  cut  him  down  on  the 
spot  before  he  could  strike  a  blow.  "It  is  just 
possible,"  says  a  correspondent,  "  that  his  intentions 
with  the  axe  may  have  been  misunderstood ;  but,  if 
such  was  the  case,  he  had  only  his  own  country- 
men to  thank  for  his  fate.  After  the  experience  of 
our  soldiers,  both  European  and  native,  it  will  be  a 
very  dangerous  game  for  an  Afghan  to  put  himself 
in  a  doubtful  position  before  them  with  a  weapon 
in  his  hand" 

The  next  expedition  towards  Lughman  was 
marked  by  a  terrible  disaster  to  the  loth,  or  Prince 
of  Wales^s  Hussars. 

It  was  on  the  evening  of  Monday,  the  31st  of 
March,  when,  between  five  and  six,  two  columns 
were  suddenly  ordered  for  service  One  was  under 
Brigadier  Gough,  and  consisted  of  about  400 
bayonets  of  the  17th  Foot,  300  of  the  27th,  and 
300  of  the  45th  Native  Infantry  Regiments,  four 
Royal  Horse  Artillery  guns,  under  Major  Stewart, 
and  two  squadrons  of  the  Guide  Cavalry.  The 
orders  of  this  column  were,  that  it  was  to  move 
out  at  one  o'clock  next  morning.  It  was  unknown 
at  the  time  in  what  direction  it  was  to  march,  but 
Lughman  was  supposed  to  be  the  object  in  view 
with  it,  as  well  as  with  the  other  column,  under 
Brigadier-General  Macpherson. 

His  force  consisted  of  detachments  from  the  ist 
Infantry  Brigade,  300  of  the  Rifles,  under  Colonel 
Newdigate ;  300  of  the  4th  Ghoorkas,  under  Major 
Rowcroft,  and  300  Punjaubees,  under  Colonel 
Rogers;  the  Hazarah  Mountain  Battery,  under 
Lieutenant  De  Latour,  Royal  Artillery,  a  company 
of  Sappers,  and  a  squadron  each  from  the  loth 
Hussars  and  the  nth  Bengal  Lancers. 

The  latter  were  all  to  be  in  readiness  to  march 

Digitized  by 




[Cabul  River. 

at  nine  o'clock  that  night ;  and  as  the  orders  were 
unexpected,  there  was  considerable  bustle  in 
camp  to  get  rations  and  the  baggage  train  in  order, 
as  General  Macpherson*s  force  was  to  have  four 
days'  provisions  with  it 

The  moon  was  little  more  than  a  quarter  old  as  the 
troops  fell  into  their  ranks,  but  it  gave  light  enough 
to  show  the  glitter  of  sword  and  bayonet  blades 
as  they  moved  off,  the  sections  quickly  disappearing 

India,  "  is  a  line  of  tragedy  and  misfortune.  That 
line  of  tragedy  and  misfortime  may  now  be  ex- 
tended a  couple  of  miles  farther  to  the  east,  for 
that  will  give  very  nearly  the  point  where  forty-six 
lives  were,  on  Monday  evening,  suddenly  swept  out 
of  existence." 

The  littie  force  of  cavalry  accompanying  Mac- 
pherson's  column  consisted,  as  detailed,  of  a 
squadron  of   the   loth    Hussars,   under  Captain 


in  the  cold  wintry  sheen  that  changed  the  hoar 
frost  to  diamonds  on  every  wall  and  tree.  There 
had  been  a  long  cricket  match  during  the  day ; 
many  of  the  officers  were  thus  somewhat  weary, 
and  some  surprise  was  expressed  at  the  brevity  of 
the  time  given  to  prepare,  and  at  the  hour  of 
parade,  which  seemed  to  indicate  a  night  march. 
For  all  this,  those  at  head-quarters  had  their  own 
reasons,  as  subsequent  events  proved ;  but  prior  to 
these  a  sad  accident  befell  our  gallant  loth  Hussars. 

The  troops  moved  westward,  and  to  many  it 
proved  their  last  march  in  this  life. 

The  line  of  ground  between  Jellalabad  and 
Cabul,  so  far  as  it  is  connected  with  the  history  of  | 

R.  C.  D'Esterre  Spottiswoode  (formerly  of  the  21st 
Hussars),  and  another  of  the  nth  Bengal  Lancers, 
the  whole  under  the  command  of  Major  K  A. 
Wood,  of  the  first-named  corps. 

The  orders  to  these  officers  were,  to  cross  the 
Cabul  River  at  a  ford  situated  about  a  mile  below 
the  camp,  a  place  from  which  a  temporary  bridge 
had,  most  unfortunately,  been  only  recently  re- 
moved; and  they  were  then  to  wheel  up  the  left 
bank  of  the  stream,  march  through  Besoot  and 
Darunta,  after  which  they  were  to  accompany  the 
column  to  Lughman,  to  which  the  infantry  ad- 
vanced by  the  Jellalabad  side  of  the  CabuL 

They  had  not  been  long  gone  when  our  troops 

Digitized  by 


Digitized  by 




(Cabol  River. 

were  seriously  alarmed  by  a  number  of  horses  gal- 
loping wildly  into  camp  with  their  bridles  trailing, 
their  saddles  empty,  and  their  trappings  soaked 
with  water. 

At  that  precise  time  the  bed  of  the  stream  is  not 
always  covered  ;  but  when  the  hot  weather  comes, 
and  the  long-gathered  snow  melts  in  the  Afghan 
mountains,  it  is  not  so.  The  volume  of  water 
then  flows  in  mdte  than  one  channel,  and  it  was 
in  anticipation  of  this  that  the  bridge  had  been 
removed,  and  fixed  up  elsewhere. 

At  the  fatal  spot  in  question,  the  Kaleh-i-Izack 
(the  Fort  of  Isaac)  ford,  where  the  cavahy  were 
to  cross,  the  river  forms  two  branches,  the  first 
thirty  feet  in  breadth,  with  an  average  depth  of  only 
thirty  inches  of  water;  and  the  crossing  was 
made  in  the  murky  moonlight,  at  a  point  where  an 
irrigation  channel  shot  off  abruptly  from  the  Cabul. 
This  point  was  crossed  with  ease.  Then  came  a 
species  of  island,  covered  by  soft  sand  and  large 
round  water-worn  boulders. 

Beyond  lay  a  larger  mass  of  water,  about  150  feet 
in  width,  but  the  line  of  the  ford  was  not  straight, 
and  350  feet  of  water  had  to  be  traversed  upon  it 

The  passage  went  first  down  the  Cabul  at  an 
oblique  angle,  till  it  reached  the  end  of  an  islet  close 
to  the  left  bank,  and  it  turned  upward  again  for  a 
short  distance  to  where  the  ford  ended. 

A  lieutenant  of  Engineers  measured  the  place, 
and  found  the  average  depth  thirty  inches,  and  in 
the  deepest  place  three  feet  It  was  constantly 
being  crossed  in  the  day-time  by  natives  on  horse- 
back, by  camels  and  bullocks.  Now  it  was  to  be 
crossed  in  night ;  and  dim  as  was  the  moon,  but  for 
the  light  it  gave,  the  disaster  would  have  been  greater. 

In  front  of  all  were  the  local  guides,  followed 
closely  by  the  Bengal  Lancers,  all  of  whom  crossed 
in  safety.  The  mules  of  this  squadron  followed 
next,  and  as  there  is  always  a  tendency  when  cross- 
ing a  stream  to  edge  lower  down  with  the  current, 
the  Hussars  were  ordered  not  to  lose  the  direction 
taken  by  those  ahead,  but  keep  well  up  against  the 

However,  there  must  have  been  some  swerving, 
for  before  they  had  reached  the  centre  they  found 
the  water  rising  high  upon  them,  but  they  saw 
all  in  fi-ont  of  them  safe  on  the  other  side,  and 
never  doubting  that  they  were  in  the  same  track 
they  pushed  onward  in  confidence,  till  the  water 
flowed  over  their  holsters  and  saddle-bows,  at 
the  rate  of  nine  miles  an  hour — and  below  the  ford 
it  was  still  more  swift 

Their  spirited  horses  began  now  to  feel  the 
difficulty  of  keeping  a  footing;  they  got  restive, 
ignoring  spur  and  bridle.     Thus  the  current  soon 

forced  them  downward  into  deeper  water,  when 
the  whole  squadron  was  swept  away  towards  the 
rapids,  and  became  a  mass  of  confusion — brave 
men  and  terrified  horses  contending  desperately  in 
the  dim  moonlight,  and  amid  the  rushing  waters, 
for  their  lives ! 

The  Hussars  were  in  heavy  marching  order,  fully 
accoutred,  and  supplied  with  ammunition — circimi- 
stances  enough  to  drag  down  a  strong  swimmer  even 
in  smooth  water.  In  their  terror  the  horses  threw 
most  of  their  riders,  whose  bodies  when  found 
showed  that  in  too  many  instances  several  of  the 
poor  fellows  must  have  been  stunned  or  hopelessly 
maimed  by  kicks,  and  thus  rendered  incapable  of 
saving  themselves,  if  it  were  possible  to  do  sa 

The  terrible  rapids  were  only  a  few  yards  below 
the  ford,  and  when  the  horses  once  lost  their  foot- 
ing and  were  swept  into  the  dark  rushing  current, 
all  hope  vanished 

Where  the  rapids  ceased  there  lay  a  deep  pool  of 
water,  when  the  torrent  lulls  a  little  in  its  career, 
and  it  was  at  that  point,  that  those  who  had  strength 
left  to  struggle,  succeeded  in  getting  to  the  banks 
on  either  side.  But  too  many  failed  :  when  the 
roll  was  called  over  after  the  accident  only  thirty 
Hussars  answered  to  their  names,  out  of  seventy-six, 
so  there  were  forty-six  of  our  men  who  would  re- 
spond to  the  call  never  more.  Lieutenant  Harford 
was  among  the  missing. 

Captain  Spottiswoode  was  mounted  on  a  remark- 
ably fine  horse,  which  had  lately  come  from 
Europe.  It  was  able  to  swim  well,  and  reached 
the  other  bank  in  safety,  but  not  at  the  end  of  the 
ford.  Twice  it  sank  to  the  girths  in  dangerous 
quicksands,  the  last  time  falling  on  his  rider  and 
lying  on  him,  so  that  he  was .  nearly  drowned,  for 
his  head  was  a  short  time  below  water ;  and  while 
all  this  terrible  episode  was  passing,  the  Bengal 
Lancers  could  only  sit  in  their  saddles  and  look 
helplessly  on. 

The  description  given  by  the  Hon.  James 
Napier  (son  of  Lord  Napier,  of  MagdaJa),  a 
lieutenant  of  the  loth  Hussars,  is  grimly  graphic 
in  its  details,  and  his  experiences  must  have 
been  the  same  as  those  of  many  others.  "His 
watch  he  found  had  stopped  at  10.55  P-^^ 
He  was  riding  at  the  head  of  the  squadron, 
together  with  Captain  Spottiswoode ;  Lieutenant 
Greenwood  and  Sub-Lieutenants  Harford  and 
Grenfell  were  behind.  They  entered  the  stream 
following  up  the  mules  of  the  nth  as  closely  as 
they  were  able.  The  water  was  soon  up  to 
their  feet;  then  it  rose  as  high  as  their  knees, 
and  began  still  to  get  higher.  As  it  reached  the 
saddles,  Napier  called  out  to  Spottiswoode  that 

Digitized  by 


Qtbol  River.] 



'it  was  getting  rather  awkward'  Napier's  horse 
had  already  begun  to  be  restive,  and  he  was  almost 
instantly  swept  away,  the  animal  kicking  and 
plunging  so  that  he  was  thrown  off  its  back.  He 
was  thrown  a  number  of  times,  and  once  he  lost 
the  reins.  At  last  he  found  himself  away  altogether 
from  the  frantic  beast,  and  being  a  good  swimmer, 
his  first  idea  was  to  get  rid  of  his  sword  and  belt, 
but  after  some  useless  attempts  he  gave  it  up  as 
hopeless.  He  had  sunk  in  the  effort,  and  now 
struck  out  to  get  to  the  surface ;  but  the  water  was 
very  cold,  and,  encumbered  with  his  heavy  boots, 
sword,  revolver,  and  cartridges,  he  was  unable  to 
keep  himself  afloat  He  felt  himself  sinking ;  he 
had  only  been  getting  occasional  mouthfuls  of  air, 
and  at  last,  as  he  felt  his  strength  going,  and  hope 
with  it,  his  feet  touched  the  bottom.  Feeling  this, 
he  roused  himself  to  a  final  effort,  and  pushed 
forward,  finding  the  water  get  shallower  as  he 
advanced  He  was  so  weak  that  he  could  not 
reach  the  dry  land,  and  was  obliged  to  sit  down, 
with  the  water  up  to  his  waist,  and  take  a  rest 
Shortly  afterwards  he  heard  a  voice  call  out,  *  Is  it 
you,  Mr.  Napier  ? '  This  turned  out  to  be  one  of 
the  men,  who  had  also  escaped,  and  who  came  and 
helped  him  on  to  the  bank,  or  what  proved  to  be 
an  island,  below  where  the  accident  took  place. 
At  first  he  could  not  stand  from  exhaustion,  but 
was  able  to  get  back  to  camp,  when  he  found  that 
his  own  horse  as  well  as  Harford's  had  retiuned 
before  him.  As  he  was  swept  down,  while  even  in 
the  agonies  of  saving  his  own  life,  he  noticed  that 
the  river  was  crowded  with  men,  horses,  and  white 
helmets  floating  past" 

Amid  all  that  scene  of  death  and  dismay,  there 
came  no  cry  from  any  of  our  perishing  soldiers ; 
each  battled  with  the  cruel  water  as  he  would  have 
battled  with  a  foe ;  and  many  of  the  dead  bodies 
showed  that  attempts  had  been  made,  like  those 
of  Napier,  to  get  rid  of  belt  and  sword,  but  in 
every  case  without  avail  Some  of  them  had  a 
hand  raised  to  the  head,  in  which  position  it  had 
stiffened  in  death ;  these  had  received  kicks  from 
hoofs  (says  a  correspondent),  and  the  hand  had 
either  been  raised  by  way  of  protection  or  through 
pain  in  the  place  kicked 

All  the  horses  snorted  wildly  as  they  felt  them- 
selves swept  away  by  the  torrent ;  many  rolled  over 
on  their  backs  and  beat  the  air  with  their  hoofs, 
for  the  heavy  saddles,  the  slung  carbines,  and  other 
trappings,  tended  to  overweight  them.  About  a 
dozen  were  drowned  One  unfortunate  Hussar 
was  swept  a  long  way  down  the  river,  but  got  into 
a  native  boat,  where  he  was  found  next  day  dead 
firom  cold  and  exhaustioa 

On  the  escaped  horses  coming  as  they  did  into 
camp,  it  was  soon  known  that  some  most  unwonted 
accident  had  taken  place;  the  soldiers  rushed  to 
the  river-side  with  lanterns,  and  the  doctors  went 
off  with  restoratives,  and  a  long  and  anxious  search 
was  made  for  the  drowned,  nineteen  of  whom  were 
found  huddled  together  at  the  point  where  Mr. 
Napier  got  ashore. 

Two  days  after,  all  these  men  were  interred  in 
one  long  grave,  in  a  cemetery  that  had  been  formed 
at  the  west  end  of  the  camp,  after  the  troops 
entered  Jellalabad  The  whole  of  the  troops  at- 
tended; two  military  bands,  and  Sir  Samuel  Browne, 
with  his  staff,  were  present  It  was  a  strangely 
solemn  scene  to  see  the  bodies,  each  rolled  in 
a  blanket,  lying  side  by  side,  in  that  long  and 
ghastly  grave. 

On  the  4th  of  April  the  body  of  Lieutenant 
Harford  was  found,  fully  accoutred  (save  that  his 
scabbard  was  empty),  and  Mr.  Napier  brought  it  to 
the  camp  in  a  (Uiooly,  and,  together  with  a  soldier 
of  the  17  th  who  had  been  mortally  wounded  at 
Futtehabad,  Harford  was  buried  by  lantern  light, 
between  seven  and  eight  in  the  evening. 

This  was  another  solemn  and  very  impressive 
sight  "  The  sun  had  set,  but  a  nearly  full  moon 
was  casting  gleams  of  light  through  a  cloudy  sky ; 
there  had  been  thunder  and  rain  in  the  afternoon, 
and  the  dark  clouds  were  yet  lingering  about  the 
snowy  peaks  of  the  Ramkoond  Mountains  and  the 
Safed  Koh  Range ;  and  when  the  funeral  pro- 
cession began,  vivid  flashes  of  red  lightning  were 
producing  strange  effects  of  light  and  shade,  as  the 
coffin,  on  an  artillery  gun-carriage,  and  draped 
with  the  Union  Jack,  moved  away^  followed  by  the 
sombre  figures  of  the  mourners  and  officers  attend- 
ing, mostly  in  dark  military  cloaks.  Instead  ot 
the  *  Dead  March  in  Saul '  the  Rifle  Brigade  band 
played  a  more  modem  piece,  which  sounded  like 
the  loud  wail  of  Oriental  mourners." 

A  reward  of  ten  rupees  was  offered  for  every 
body  recovered  from  the  river.  Some  were  re- 
covered, and  buried  severally  near  the  places  where 
found  T^e  loth  Hussars  were  now  all  in  advance, 
but  Captain  Spottiswoode  remained  in  camp  to 
give  evidence  before  a  Court  of  Inquiry,  and 
conduct  the  final  interments  of  his  men. 

Meanwhile,  ignorant  of  the  catastrophe  we  have 
been  relating  at  the  Cabul  River,  the  troops  were 
proceeding  to  the  scene  of  their  service  elsewhere. 

On  the  2nd  of  April — ^three  days  after  the  Hussar 
calamity — was  fought  and  won  the  conflict  which 
was  known  as  the  battle  of  Futtehabad 

With  the  force  already  detailed  under  his  com- 
mand, the  brigadier  moved  out  of  Jellalabad  to 

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anticipate  the  intended  attack  of  the  Khugianis,  a 
warlike  and  unruly  tribe,  and  at  dawn  on  the  ist, 
spies  reported  to  him  that  these  people,  to  the  num- 
ber of  5,000  men  in  arms,  were  collecting  at  a  place 
called  Kaja,  nine  miles  south  of  Futtehabad,  which 
means  the  "Town  of  Victory,"  for  when  a  battle 
has  been  fought  and  won  by  unperial  arms, 
**  Futteh  "  is  usually  prefixed  to  the  name ;  towns 
of  Hindostan,  therefore,  beginning  in  this  way  are 

Gough  threw  out  reconnoitring  parties  to  over- 
look Kaja  and  Gundamuk,  and  on  the  2nd  of 
April  the  party  from  the  former  place  retimied, 
about  ten  in  the  morning,  to  report  that  large 
masses  of  the  enemy  were  in  that  direction. 

At  noon  the  officers  of  the  outlying  pickets  saw, 
through  their  field-glasses,  some  thousands  of 
Khugianis,  only  five  miles  from  camp. 

To  protect  or  support  the  reconnoitring  party  at 
Gundamuk,  the  brigadier  moved  out  of  his  tem- 
porary camp,  with  four  guns,  two  squadrons  of  the 
loth  Hussars  and  Guides  Cavalry,  and  marched 
south-west  of  Futtehabad,  leaving  600  infantry  to 
follow  as  speedily  as  possible.  The  remainder  of 
his  force  was  to  protect  and  hold  the  camp. 

He  gained  the  summit  of  a  species  of  plateau, 
which  sloped  gently  from  north  to  south,  and  was 
bounded  on  the  east  by  a  deep  and  brawling 
mountain  stream — the  Khora  Su,  and  by  a  similar 
torrent  on  the  west;  and  from  thence  could  be 
seen,  about  three  miles  distant,  the  enemy,  in  con- 
siderable force,  entrenched  behind  stone  walls  and 
sungahs^  or  breastworks. 

The  key  of  this  position — ^their  right — ^was  un- 
assaikble,  in  consequence  of  the  rugged  and 
naturally  scarped  sides  of  the  foaming  torrent, 
while  the  left  was  similarly  protected  Thus  the 
only  means  of  attack  was  one  delivered  directly 
in  front 

Leaving  600  yards  of  his  position  to  be  occupied 
by  his  infantry  when  they  came  upon  the  ground, 
the  brigadier  drew  up  his  little  force  in  line,  the 
guns  under  Major  Stewart,  and  one  troop  of  the 
loth  on  the  left.  When  the  Gundamuk  recon- 
noitring party  came  in — two  small  parties  of  the 
loth  and  Guides,  under  Major  Wigram  Battye — 
the  attempt  was  to  be  made  of  driving  the  enemy 
out  of  their  position. 

Accordingly,  Stewart's  guns  opened  fire  at  1,400 
yards,  gradually  closing  up  to  1,200,  and  then  fell 
back,  a  movement  which  produced  the  effect  de- 
sired. The  enemy,  encouraged  thereby,  came 
swarming  out  fi*om  the  rear  of  their  defences  with 
defiant  and  exulting  shouts,  scattered  in  the  open 
as  skirmishers,  and  even  attempted  a  flank  move- 

ment by  scrambling  down  a  ravine  in  the  rocky 
side  of  the  mountain  torrent,  and  coming  up  again 
within  250  yards  of  our  guns,  actually  succeeded 
in  emptying  a  few  saddles  and  wounding  several 
cavalry  horses. 

Gough,  still  bent  on  luring  them  to  their  own 
destruction,  now  ordered  a  further  retirement, 
which  was  more  quickly  performed,  and  admirably 
answered  his  purpose,  for  the  enemy's  centre 
thinned  and  began  to  melt  away ;  but  from  their 
great  length  of  front  they  nearly  turned  his  left 
flank.  The  infantry  now  came  quickly  into  action, 
and  effectually  checked  them  in  that  quarter. 

They  reached  the  plateau  unseen,  by  a  dip  of  the 
ground,  and  came  into  action,  briskly  file-firing, 
and  got  so  close  as  to  use  their  bayonets  occa- 
sionally ;  and  it  was  about  this  time  that  Lieutenant 
N.  C.  Wiseman,  of  Her  Majesty's  17th  Foot,  was 
killed  in  gallantly  attempting  to  capture  a  standard 
from  the  enemy.  A  letter  from  the  field  thus 
details  the  episode,  as  related  by  Private  Clarke, 
of  the  same  regiment,  who  performed  a  prominent 
part  in  the  struggle  : — 

**  He  says  that  they  (the  1 7th)  were  in  skirmishing 
order,  and  only  about  300  yards  fi-om  the  sungahs. 
The  Afghans,  seeing  them  all  (lying)  on  the  ground, 
thought  they  were  killed  or  wounded,  and  this 
tempted  them  to  come  out  The  17  th — or  at  least 
the  company  Wiseman  belonged  to — fixed  bayonets, 
and  made  a  charge.  Wiseman  was  twenty  yards  in 
front  of  his  company,  and  thus  got  close  to  the 
Afghan  bearing  the  flag.  He  ran  forward,  and 
seizing  it  in  his  left  hand,  sent  his  sword  through 
his  head  in  about  the  lower  part  of  his  cheek.  The 
Afghan  fell,  leaving  Wiseman  in  possession  of  the 
flag.  Clarke  shot  another  man,  whom  he  saw 
coming  to  attack  Wiseman,  but  he  could  not  say 
exactly  who  it  was  that  cut  him  (the  lieutenant) 
down,  as  he  was  knocked  over  by  a  severe  blow 
from  a  stone,  and  it  was  while  down  that  he 
shot  the  man  coming  up  and  flourishing  his  knife." 

Clarke  adds  that  he  was  knocked  down  a  second 
time  by  another  stone,  and  avoided  the  knives  of 
the  Afghans  by  rolling  over ;  and  that  there  were 
only  three  or  four  men  with  Wiseman  at  that  time, 
as  the  call  had  been  sounded  to  "retire;"  but 
being  so  far  in  advance,  it  was  not  heard  by  these 
few  men,  who  were  thus  left  to  struggle  against 
great  odds.  In  a  minute  after,  the  order  was  given 
to  advance  again,  and  during  the  brief  interval,  the 
Afghans  had  found  time  to  gash  Wiseman's  body 
with  their  charahs  and  strip  it  of  everything  valuable. 
Though  rather  small  in  stature,  this  young  oflficer 
had  a  brave  spirit  in  him.  He  was  nephew  to  the 
cardinal  of  the  same  name. 

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The  Horse  Artillery  now  moved  to  the  right, 
ind  sent  shell  after  shell  screaming  and  exploding 
among  the  enemy;  but  so  little  were  the  latter 
disheartened  as  yet,  that  they  pushed  on  to  within 
400  yards  of  the  muzzles  of  the  guns ;  and  now,  as 
they  were  all  well  out  in  the  open,  an  order  was 
given  for  the  Guides  and  Hussars  to  charge. 

Major  Battye,  supported  by  the  latter,  at  the  head 
of  his  own  brilliant  cavalry,  cut  and  re-cut  his  way 
sword  in  hand  through  the  wild  herds  of  shrieking 
Khugianis.  For  a  time  the  fight  was  dose  and 
deadly,  and  sword-blades,  as  they  swept  trenchantly 
down  on  right  and  left,  were  seen  flashing  in 
the  sunshine ;  and  in  this  affray  the  brave  Battye 
fell  At  the  very  commencement  of  the  charge  two 
bullets  pierced  his  thigh,  but  he  still  kept  his 
saddle,  though  bleeding  profusely,  and  though 
some  of  his  Guides  begged  him  to  have  the  limb 

"There  is  no  time  for  that  just  now,"  was  his 

A  few  minutes  after,  his  horse  was  shot  under 
him,  receiving  at  the  same  instant  a  ball  in  its  head 
and  another  in  its  body.  Its  rider  fell  with  it  to 
the  ground,  and  almost  immediately  a  third  bullet 
passed  through  his  left  arm,  entered  his  chest,  and 
penetrating  to  the  lungs,  killed  him;  but  not 
before  he  heard,  what  must  have  been  a  welcome 
sound  to  his  dying  ears — for  Battye  was  one  of  the 
bravest  and  best  beloved  officers  of  the  Indian 
army — the  wild  cry  for  vengeance  that  burst  from 
his  cavalry  as  they  spurred  madly  on  the  enemy, 
and  spared  none.  Lieutenant  Hamilton  is  said  to 
have  slain  eight  in  succession  with  his  own  hand. 

The  general  slaughter  was  so  effective  that  the 
Khugianis,  though  they  made  a  stem  resistance, 
began  to  fall  back;  at  last  they  fled,  and  were 
pursued  by  the  cavalry  for  five  miles,  no  quarter 
being  given.  "Revolvers  were  found  to  be  of 
little  use,"  says  a  correspondent  "An  officer  of 
the  Hussars  shot  a  man  twice,  but  the  bullets 
seemed  to  have  no  effect.  He  therefore  threw  his 
revolver  at  the  man,  and  while  the  latter  was 
staggering  from  the  blow,  cut  him  down  with  his 

Captain  Holmes,  of  the  45th  Sikhs  (known  as 
Rattray's  Sikhs),  had  a  narrow  escape.  A  ball  that 
rebounded  from  a  rock  struck  the  revolver  that 
hung  at  his  waistbelt,  glanced  into  his  watch- 
pocket,  smashed  the  works  of  his  repeater,  but 
failing  to  penetrate  the  outer  case,  remained  there. 
This  was  his  second  escape,  having  been  but 
slightly  wounded  before. 

The  loss  of  the  enemy  was  above  400  killed  on 
the  field  and  in  the  pursuit,  and  many  hundreds 

wounded  Our  general  casualties  were  not  over 
forty,  the  Guides  suffering  most 

Major  Wigram  Battye  had  been  dangerously 
wounded  in  1863,  when  serving  with  the  Guides 
Infantry  at  Umballa;  and  in  1870-1  he  was  with 
the  Germans  in  their  war  with  France,  and  was  at 
the  siege  of  Paris.  In  1878  he  commanded  the 
expedition  with  Louis  Cavagnari  to  Sapra;  and 
it  is  somewhat  of  a  coincidence  that  his  brother. 
Lieutenant  Battye,  a  mere  boy,  fell  at  the  head 
of  the  Guides,  before  Delhi,  in  1857,  as  recorded 
in  our  third  volume,  his  last  words  being — "  Z>u/c€ 
et  decorum  est  pro  patria  moril " 

Major  Battye  and  Lieutenant  Wiseman  were 
buried  side  by  side  in  the  military  cemetery  at 
Jellalabad,  much  about  the  same  time  that  Lieu- 
tenant Harford  and  his  companions  were  laid 

After  his  victory.  Brigadier  Gough  made  a 
reconnaissance  as  far  as  Gundamuk,  without  en- 
countering opposition  on  the  way. 

While  it  was  thought  on  one  hand  at  this  time, 
that  Yakoub  Khan  might  be  negotiating  some 
terms  of  peace  with  Major  Cavagnari,  it  was  pretty 
evident,  on  the  other,  that  he  was  stirring  up  the 
frontier  tribes  to  give  us  trouble.  As  a  proof  of 
this,  a  letter  to  the  Khugianis  was  found  after  the 
engagement  at  Futtehabad,  said  to  bear  his  seal 
and  signature,  in  which  they  were  urged  "to  cut 
the  throats  of  all  these  Kaflirs  and  Infidels,  and 
send  their  souls  to  Jehenum,"  adding,  that  if  they 
required  assistance  he  would  send  them  soldiers. 
Many  quotations  were  given  from  the  Koran. 
"  This  system  of  quoting  from  the  Koran,"  says  a 
writer,  "points  to  the  tendency  which  has  been 
shown,  not  only  by  the  present  ruler  of  Afghanis- 
tan, but  by  his  father,  to  give  the  contest  with 
Britain  the  character  of  a  religious  war,  or  Jehad, 
We  have  a  further  illustration  of  this  in  the 
utilbing  of  the  mollahs,  or  men  of  priestly 
reputation,  to  go  about  stirring  up  the  trib^ 
wherever  such  movements  are  wished  for." 

The  day  after  his  victory,  Gough  was  occupied 
in  blowing  up  the  towers  of  some  of  the  villages, 
the  people  of  which  had  taken  part  with  the 
Khugianis,  when  the  principal  chiefs  made  their 
appearance  and  prayed  that  the  destruction  might 
cease,  as  they  would  be  answerable  for  the  peaceful 
conduct  of  their  people. 

The  2nd  Brigade  of  the  ist  Division  (Tytler's) 
was  now  encamped  three  miles  beyond  Futtehabad, 
in  the  direction  of  Cabul. 

Rumours  were  now  rife  that  the  Mohmunds, 
the  Shinwarris,  and  Afreedies  were  rising  in  our 
rear,  and  that  it  would  be  necessary  to  teach  the 

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feklTisM  MttLES  OH   LAND  AND  SKA. 


people  a  severe  lesson  before  the  general  advance 
of  the  I  St  Division  could  take  place ;  and  so  far 
as  the  Afreedies  were  concerned,  that  had  been 
effectually  done  by  General  Tytler  (some  days 
before  the  conflict  at  Futtehabad)  in  a  sharp 
cavalry  affair  at  Dehouruk,  of  which  we  may  now 
treat  in  detail 

Before  leaving  his  post  at  Basawul,  to  join  Sir 
Samuel  Browne  for  the  general  advance  on  the 

of  the  24th  of  March.  The  roads  were  steep  and 
rough,  the  night  was  pitchy  dark,  and  the  guide 
twice  lost  his  way.  Thus  day  broke  ere  the  troops 
had  come  within  ten  miles  of  the  village  which  it 
was  Tytler's  intention  to  surj^rise  and  destroy,  so 
he  galloped  on  with  the  cavalry,  leaving  the 
infantry  to  come  forward  as  fast  as  possible. 

On  coming  in  sight  of  the  village,  which  was 
named    Mansum,    Lieutenant    Heath,    with    the 


.Afghan  capital,  he  resolved  to  punish  some 
villages  in  the  vicinity  of  Peshbolak  and  the  Fort 
of  the  Safed  Koh,  called  Dehouruk,  for  firing 
upon  a  party  of  his  men  who  had  been  endeavour- 
ing to  purchase  some  necessaries  from  the  in- 

Peshbolak  is  a  village  of  Afghanistan,  in  a  dis- 
trict of  the  same  name,  on  the  road  from  Peshawur 
to  Cabul,  and  four  and  a  half  miles  south  of  the 
Cabul  River. 

His  force,  which  consisted  of  only  540  infantry, 
with  some  Lancers  and  two  mountain  guns, 
marched  from   Basawul  at  one  in  the  morning 

Lancers,  was  ordered  to  advance  by  a  rough 
ravine,  through  which  a  river  ran,  and  which  lay 
on  the  left  side  of  the  place,  and,  if  possible,  to  get 
into  the  rear,  so  as  to  cut  off  the  retreat  of  the 
people  into  the  mountains,  which  ran  in  long  wavy 
ridges  up  to  the  base  of  the  stupendous  Safed 

The  cavalry  had  proceeded  but  a  few  yards  up 
the  bed  of  the  stream,  when  a  fire  was  opened 
upon  them  by  the  enemy,  from  ground  above  and 
farther  up — a  fire  that  was  sharp  enough  to  compel 
them  to  fall  back.  The  din  of  tom-toms  was  now 
heard  in  all  the  neighbouring  villages  and  hamlets. 

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and  the  people  manned  the  enclosing  walls,  while 
others  crowded  outside  with  their  old  flint-locks. 

Firing  was  begun  from  the  village  of  Mansum,  a 
little  in  Tytler's  rear,  and  from  a  body  of  Afreedies 
assembled  on  a  number  of  terraced  cultivations  on 
his  right,  and  across  a  ravine  parallel  to  that  in 
which  the  Lancers  had  been  repulsed  Tytler 
instantly  dismounted  a  portion  of  the  latter, 
picketed  their  horses  amid  a  clump  of  sheltering 

panies  were  detached  to  keep  down,  by  every  effort, 
the  fire  from  a  village  on  the  right  rear,  the  cavalry 
simultaneously  crossing  a  ravine  to  the  right  running 
parallel  to  the  main  attack,  and  hurling  back  with 
the  point  of  the  levelled  lance  the  enemy,  who 
were  gathered  on  the  plain  to  the  number  of  300 
men,  armed  with  flint-locks. 

Threading  their  way,  the  Lancers  worked  round 
a  bend  in  the  bank  of  the  nullah,  from  which  they 


trees,  and  despatched  an  orderly  to  hasten  the 
march  of  his  infantry. 

By  this  time  Lieutenant  Heath  had  joined  the 
main  body  of  the  Lancers,  and  skirmished  along 
the  low  terraces  which  intersected  all  the  culti- 
vated land  in  these  hilly  parts.  For  half  an  hour 
the  cavalry  skirmishers  were  able  with  their  carbines 
to  keep  the  enemy  at  a  distance,  till  the  infantry 
came  up  at  a  quick  march,  when  General  Tytler 
immediately  assumed  the  offensive. 

With  two  companies  in  extended  order  the 
mountain  battery  advanced  against  the  village  oi 
Mansum,  while  at  the  same  time  two  other  com- 

suddenly  emerged  on  the  little  plain,  and  swiftly 
formed  up  into  line. 

"  Trot — gallop — charge  ! "  were  the  orders  of 
Major  Thompson,  and  forward  they  rushed  on  the 
spur ;  yet,  singular  to  say,  the  undisciplined  enemy 
met  them  with  remarkable  steadiness ;  allowed  them 
to  approach  within  sixty  yards,  and  poured  into 
them  a  volley  with  their  antiquated  flint-locks  which 
emptied  two  saddles. 

In  another  moment  the  cavalry  had  swooped 
furiously  down  upon  them  with  levelled  lance. 
The  Afreedies,  on  perceiving  that  their  volley  had 
not  stopped  the  advance,  wavered  for  a  moment, 

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and  then  closing  in,  stood  their  ground,  with  sword, 
pistol,  and  juzail,  firing  steadily  with  the  latter. 
But  this  lasted  barely  a  minute.  The  charged 
lances  bore  them  back  and  down  as  the  riders  burst 
through  and  through  them.  After  a  tough  struggle 
the  surviving  Afreedies  were  seen  flying  to  the 
hills,  casting  away  their  weapons  as  they  ran — and 
leaving  sixty  slain  behind  them. 

The  supports  having  now  moved  up,  the  weary 
troops  halted  and  piled  arms,  to  breakfast. 

The  village  of  Mansum,  and  four  other  hamlets, 
had  been  destroyed — literally  blown  to  pieces — by 
the  guns  and  the  infantry,  the  villagers  in  all  taking 
to  flight  (after  a  brief  struggle),  save  one  resolute 
old  man,  who  locked  himself  up  in  the  summit  of 
an  ancient  tower,  and  fired  away  till  his  last  charge 
of  powder  was  expended,  and  then  a  sepoy  of  the 
27th  Native  Infantry  shot  him  through  the  head: 

The  mollahs  of  these  villages  had  been  rousing 
the  people  against  us  by  preaching  from  the  Koran, 
and  some  were  shot  there,  two  with  the  Koran  held 
in  front  of  their  breasts;  but  the  Martini-Henry 
bullets  passed  through  the  volumes,  though  one  was 
fully  three  inches  thick,  and  the  other  was  curiously 
bound  in  a  gaudy  pattern  of  English  bed-room  wall- 

The  bearers  had  believed  that  with  these  books 
in  their  hands,  the  bullets  of  the  "  Kafirs"  would 
be  harmless  against  them.  "  All  this  was  the  mere 
accident  of  battle;  but  had  these  men  passed 
through  the  action  scatheless,  the  power  of 
the  Koran,  and  their  sanctity,  would  have 
been  established  beyond  a  doubt  After  the  fight 
with  the  Khugianis  six  mollahs  were  caught,  and 
shot^  next  day,  so  we  may  suppose  that  they  had 
something  to  do  with  the  polite  and  pious  letter  of 
Yakoub  Khan  which  was  found" 

All  the  time  the  troops  were  at  breakfast  the  din 
of  tom-toms,  or  native  drums,  was  heard  among 
the  mountains  and  in  the  neighbouring  villages, 
from  which  the  armed  men  could  be  seen  pouring 
out  to  join  the  then  routed  Afreedies ;  but  by  ten 
o'clock,  after  seven  massive  towers  had  been  blown 
up,  amid  clouds  of  dust,  by  the  sappers,  General 
Tytler  withdrew  to  his  first  position. 

The  moment  his  rearward  movement  began,  the 
Afreedies  followed  closely,  reoccupied  their  posi- 
tions, and  from  amid  the  smoke  of  the  burning  ruins 
opened  a  fire  upon  the  troops,  who  were  not  slow 
in  responding,  especially  with  the  mountain  guns. 

When  the  left  nullah  was  crossed,  the  inftiriated 
Afireedies  poured  down  with  frantic  speed,  and 
came  very  close  to  our  skirmishers,  who  were  in 
extended  order,  and  retiring  in  most  regular  order, 
by  alternate  companies. 

They  enveloped  the  entire  rear-fi-ont  and  both 
flanks  of  Tytler^s  force,  waving  flags,  shouting  yells 
of  defiance,  and  availing  themselves  adroitly  of 
every  bit  of  cover  while  keeping  up  their  flint-lock 

Here  and  there  little  bands  would  venture  within 
a  hundred  yards,  brandishing  their  gleaming  c/uzraAs^ 
as  if  about  to  charge,  but  our  effective  rifle  fire 
cooled  their  ardour;  and  so  for  three  miles  the 
rearward  movement  continued,  over  very  rough 
ground,  till  the  open  was  reached,  when  the  cavalry 
became  available,  and  then  Tytler  charged  after 
the  formation  of  his  column. 

The  cavalry  covered  the  rear,  retiring  by  alternate 
squadrons.  The  Afreedies  never  ventured  within 
thrusting  distance  of  the  glittering  liance-heads,  but 
gradually  hung  back  and,  gathering  in  masses  sullen 
and  discomfited,  watched  the  troops  file  past  Pesh- 
bolack,  but  followed  them  no  farther.  And  thus 
ended  a  very  successful  expedition,  in  which  the 
enemy,  besides  many  hundreds  wounded,  lost  more 
than  250  killed 

The  Khan  of  Peshbolack,  having  shown  firiend- 
ship  to  the  British  troops,  was  naturally  afraid  of 
the  ready  vengeance  of  the  enemy,  so  General 
Tytler  left  two  companies  of  Native  Infantry  to  pro- 
tect him,  and  marched  back  to  the  camp  at  BasawuL 

Perceiving  that  matters  were  getting  hopeless 
now,  and  dreading  the  advance  of  our  imited 
columns  on  Cabul,  the  young  Ameer,  Yakoub 
Khan,  announced  his  intention  of  holding  a  peace- 
ful interview  at  Gundamuk  with  Major  Cavagnari, 
for  the  solution  of  all  difficulties. 

On  the  8th  of  May,  1879,  he  was  met  by  the  latter, 
who  was  accompanied  by  a  detachment  of  the  loth 
Hussars  and  the  Guides,  at  Surkhab,  on  the  firontier. 
British  troops  of  all  arms  lined  the  route  to  the 
camp,  a  distance  of  two  miles  and  a  half.  Sir 
Samuel  Browne  and  his  staff"  received  the  Ameer 
(who  was  then  in  his  thirty-first  year)  at  the  end  of 
the  line,  with  a  salute  of  twenty-one  guns. 

Gundamuk  is  a  walled  village,  twenty-eight  miles 
westward  of  Jellalabad.  It  is  surrounded  by 
luxuriant  wheat-fields,  tall  and  solemn  looking 
cypresses,  with  a  considerable  extent  of  forest, 
and  is  celebrated  sorrowfully  as  the  place  where,  in 
the  disastrous  first  Afghan  War,  the  last  portion  of 
General  Elphinstone's  army,  retreating  from  CabuL 
was  massacred,  only  one  man.  Dr.  Brydone,  reach- 
ing Jellalabad,  covered  with  wounds ;  so  it  was  a 
place  of  ill  omen. 

The  conduct  of  the  subsequent  negotiations 
was  placed  in  the  hands  of  Major  Cavagnari, 
Deputy  Commissioner  of  Peshawur,  and  on  the 
26th  of  May  a  treaty  of  peace  was  signed     Its 

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chief  objects  were  to  place  the  foreign  affairs  of 
Afghanistan  under  British  control ;  to  guarantee 
that  country  against  foreign  (/>.,  Russian)  aggres- 
sion, by  the  aid  of  British  money,  arms,  and 
troops,  if  necessary ;  to  provide  for  the  support  of  a 
British  Resident  and  his  suite  in  the  dominions  of 
the  Ameer,  and  to  transfer  to  our  Indian  Empire 
the  Kurram,  Pishin,  and  Sibi  valleys;  while  the 
British  military  authorities  were  to  have  complete 
command  over  the  Khyber  and  Mechin  passes. 

The  surplus  revenue  of  the  territory  thus  annexed 
was  to  be  paid  to  the  Ameer,  after  deducting  the 
expenses  of  the  administration  ;  and  he  was  also  to 
receive  an  annual  subsidy  of  six  lakhs  of  rupees 
{jC6o,ooo)  while  he  adhered  to  his  engagements. 

So  the  vexatious,  yet  not  inglorious  war,  came 
for  a  time  to  an  end,  and  the  troops  in  the  valley  of 
Jellalabad  were  withdrawn  at  once  within  our  new 
frontier,  lest  their  presence  should  excite  the 
Afghans,  all  less  inclined  to  obey  an  Ameer  who 
was  now  supposed  to  be  under  British  influence ; 
and  for  the  same  reason  he  returned  to  Cabul 
alone,  and  the  despatch  of  the  Resident  was  de- 
ferred for  a  time. 

Thus  the  intended  advance  on  Cabul  did  not 
then  take  place ;  but  it  did  not  alter  the  prospect 
of  the  column  in  the  Kurram  Valley.  So,  on  tidings 
coming  of  the  intended  treaty,  as  it  was  necessary 
to  select  a  site  for  a  pretty  permanent  cantonment, 
General  Roberts,  with  his  staff,  rode  off  to  Shaluzan, 
to  inspect  ground  selected  by  Major  Collet,  the 
assistant  quartermaster-general,  on  the  loth  of 
May,  and  while  negotiations  were  yet  pending  at 

They  were  escorted  by  a  detachment  of  Ghoorkas 
and  a  signalling  party.  Captain  Martin  having  got 
his  sights,  went  down  a  mountain  spur  a  little  way 
to  fill  in  some  ground  that  could  not  otherwise  be 
observed,  and  he  had  barely  rejoined  his  party 

when  a  general  alarm  was  caused  by  the  appearance 
of  a  strong  band  of  armed  men  ascending  to  their 
position,  a  strong  one,  on  a  peak,  clear  of  trees, 
juniper  bushes,  and  prickly  thorns,  which  abound 
in  that  district  A  warning  had  previously  been 
received,  to  "  look  out,  as  there  was  a  band  of  800 
Mangals  in  the  neighbourhood." 

These  had  already  fired  on  some  unarmed  men, 
who  had  gone  from  the  camp  to  the  Hurriab  stream 
to  collect  brushwood,  and  the  fire  was  returned  by 
tlieir  escort,  and  some  resolute  92nd  Highlanders, 
who  were  fishing,  but  had  taken  the  precaution  to 
carry  their  rifles  with  them. 

On  hearing  this  firing.  General  Cobbe  went  to 
escort  back  the  staff  and  survey  party,  on  whom 
the  Mangals  opened  fire  when  they  saw  their 
figures  on  the  crest  against  the  sky ;  so  an 
exciting  skirmish  ensued  Nor  did  the  Mangals 
draw  off  until  they  saw  the  fiery  little  Ghoorkas 
defiling  down  below,  as  they  crossed  at  a  "  double  " 
the  open  land  near  the  village  of  Sappri. 

On  the  24th  of  May  Roberts  reviewed  the  united 
Kurram  force,  mustering  5,500  infantry  and  1,200 
cavalry,  with  twenty-nine  pieces  of  cannon. 

The  Governor-General  in  Council  at  Simla,  on 
the  nth  of  July,  after  complimenting  all  the  troops 
in  the  field,  "recommended  to  Her  Majesty's 
Government  that  a  medal,  with  clasps  for  those 
present  at  Ali  Musjid  and  the  Peiwar  Kotal,  be 
awarded  to  all  officers  and  men  engaged  in  the 
late  Afghan  war." 

And  so  for  four  months  after  the  signing  of  the 
Treaty  of  Gundamuk  there  was  peace  beyond  the 
banks  of  the  Indus  and  among  the  mountains  of 

Deserved  and  well-won  honours  were  bestowed 

'  on  all  the  leaders ;  and  the  ill-fated  Pierre  Louis 

Napoleon  Cavagnari,  C.S.I.,  for  his  diplomatic  ser- 

;  vices  was  made  a  Knight  Commander  of  the  Bath. 



A  CONTINUED  peace  seemed  almost  certain  now, 
especially  after  the  reception  of  such  a  letter  as  the 
following,  from  the  Ameer  to  the  Governor-General, 
on  the  7th  of  June,  1879  : — 

After  compliments,  "Be  it  known  to  your 
Excellency  that,  since  the  day  of  my  arrival  from 
the  British  camp  at  Gundamuk,  I  have  been  very 

happy,  and  that  I  am  exceedingly  pleased  with,  and 
happy  for,  the  reception  and  treatment  accorded  to 
me  by  the  British  officers,  which  will  doubtless  tend 
to  produce  the  fruits  of  friendship,  unity,  and 
concord.  Although  I  had  resolved  to  come  to 
Simla,  and  give  myself  the  unbounded  pleasure  of 
a  joyful  interview  with  your   Excellency,  for  the 

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purpose  of  strengthening  friendly  relations,  the 
combination  of  these  circumstances  prevented  me 
from  carrying  my  intention  into  effect 

"There  were,  in  the  first  place,  the  intense 
heat  of  the  weather;  secondly,  the  existence  of 
cholera,  which,  in  obedience  to  the  Divine  decree, 
has  made  its  appearance  in  these  quarters;  and, 
thirdly,  the  anarchy  existing  in  the  interior  of 
Afghanistan,  to  attend  to  which  is  the  most  im- 
portant of  all  matters.  After  completing  my  tour 
through  the  country,  during  which  I  shall  inspect 
the  frontiers  and  provinces,  and  introduce  good 
government  therein,  I  intend,  God  willing,  towards 
the  close  of  the  next  cold  season  to  set  out  for 
my  destination,  and  have  a  joyful  meeting  with 
your  Excellency,  for  the  purpose  of  making  firmer 
the  basis  of  firiendship,  and  drawing  closer  the 
bonds  of  affection  and  amity  in  a  suitable  and 
appropriate  manner.  Further  what  can  I  write, 
beyond  expressions  of  firiendship  and  goodwill  ?  " 

This  somewhat  fulsome  Oriental  letter  probably 
hastened  further  arrangements ;  accordingly,  on 
the  17  th  of  the  same  month.  Major  Sir  Louis 
Cavagnari  left  Ali  Kheyl  for  the  Afghan  capital, 
and  at  the  Shutargardan  Pass  was  met  by  an 
escort  of  the  Ameer's  troops,  who  received  him 
with  every  honour. 

He  arrived  at  Cabul  on  the  24th,  accompanied 
by  Mr.  William  Jenkyns,  a  young  member  of  the 
Punjaub  Civil  Service  (who  was  to  act  as  secretary 
to  the  Resident),  Dr.  Kelly,  an  army  surgeon,  and 
Lieutenant  Hamilton,  V.C,  who  was  in  command 
of  an  escort,  consisting  of  twenty-six  troopers  and 
fifty  infantry  of  the  Guides  Corps. 

At  first  the  whole  party  were,  to  all  appearance, 
well  received,  both  by  the  Ameer  and  his  people  ; 
but  after  a  while  the  former,  notwithstanding  his 
written  desires  for  "  friendship,  unity,  and  concord," 
grew  cold,  and  saw  less  of  our  envoy,  while  the 
mob  showed  signs  of  turbulence. 

We  believe  that  it  was  about  this  time  that  the 
European  visitors  discovered  a  curious  English 
tomb,  that  lies,  or  lay,  in  a  small  burial  ground 
eastward  of  the  Peshawur  Gate,  and  to  which  a 
reference  was  made  in  the  Times.  It  is  described 
as  small,  and  of  marble,  laid  flat,  and  with  this 
inscription  running  round  the  sides : — "  Here  lyes 
the  bodye  of  Joseph  Hicks,  the  son  of  Thomas 
Hicks  and  Edith,  who  departed  this  life  the  nth 
of  October,  1666." 

How,  and  in  what  capacity,  an  Englishman 
happened  to  be  in  Cabul  in  the  reign  of  Charles 
XL,  is  as  great  a  mystery  as  the  identity  of  the 
other  solitary  Englishman  who  cut  the  inscrip- 

The  months  of  July  and  August  passed  quietly 
enough,  though  some  Afghan  troops,  which  had 
come  in  from  Herat,  used  insulting,  and  even 
threatening,  language  to  the  Resident,  and  quarrels 
took  place  between  them  and  the  men  of  his 
escort  Roving  brigands  infested  all  the  roads 
about  the  city.  The  authority  of  Yakoub  Khan  was 
evidently  very  feeble ;  and  it  is  said  that  Sir  Louis 
Cavagnari  received  distinct  information  that  the 
lives  of  himself  and  his  companions  were  in 
danger;  but  the  letters  which  these  gentlemen 
sent  to  India  gave  no  signs  of  apprehension. 

The  houses  of  the  Residency  "had  been  as 
thoroughly  cleaned  and  put  in  repair  as  Orientals 
think  wholesome  and  necessary,  or,  perhaps,  in 
deference  to  European  whims,  a  little  more  tho* 
roughly  than  usual  Furniture  of  English  style, 
and  some  of  it  of  English  make — ^mementoes,  it 
may  be,  of  the  other  ill-starred  visitors  of  1842  to 
the  treacherous  city — was  in  sufficient  quantity, 
and  provisions  were  lavishly  abundant  From  the 
Ameer  himself,  as  from  the  commandant,  *dalis' 
of  fruit  and  vegetables,  fish  and  milk  and  sweet- 
meats, were  daily  provided,  and  whatever  Cabul 
could  offer  in  the  way  of  entertainment  or  amuse- 
ment was  readily  forthcoming.  Morning  and 
evening  the  envoy  and  his  staff,  attended  by  a 
handful  of  the  Guides,  and  a  few  of  Shara  Khan's 
crack  cavalry,  rode  out  through  the  city  to  the 
different  places  of  interest  in  the  neighbourhood 
towards  the  Chardeh  Valley,  on  the  one  hand,  or 
out  between  the  nearly-meeting  hills  westward  to 
the  Killa-Kazi  plains." 

They  were  quartered  in  the  Bala  Hissar,  or 
citadel  of  Cabul,  a  place  incapable  of  being  de- 
fended, owing  to  the  ruinous  condition  of  its  walls 
and  ramparts,  and  where,  on  the  bath-room  walls 
and  elsewhere,  there  remained  pencilled  scribblings 
in  Russian  characters,  left  by  the  late  Muscovite 
mission.  Occupying  the  acclivity  of  a  hill,  on  the 
south-east  side  of  Cabul,  this  edifice,  which  was  a 
royal  palace,  completely  overlooked  the  city,  and 
the  broad  and  fertile  valley  of  orchards  and 
gardens  through  which  the  Cabul  River,  clear, 
shallow,  and  rapid,  flows  on  its  way  to  the  Indus. 

The  Bala  Hissar  formed  an  irregular  pentagon, 
and  contained  within  its  precincts  stabling  for 
1,000  horses.  It  had  a  wide  ditch  and,  had  the 
walls  been  strong  enough,  was  capable  of  defence, 
in  a  way,  against  troops  unprovided  with  cannon. 

Among  some  relics  of  the  old  war  which  Sir 
Louis  Cavagnari's  embassy  brought  to  light,  was 
one  of  a  nature  so  interesting  that  we  are  tempted 
to  insert  it  here,  especially  as  it  contains  the  names 
of  many  officers  and  others,  the  hostages,  belonging 

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to   "that  doomed  army,"  the  story  of  which  is 
related  in  the  early  chapters  of  our  third  volume. 

It  was  a  certificate,  given  by  the  captives  to  their 
keeper,  Beha-uddun,  and  runs  thus : — 

"Buddeabad,  Lughman,  March  ii,  1842. 
"  Beha-uddun,  whom  Sirdar  Mahommed  Ackbar 
Khan  has  placed  in  charge  of  the  ladies  and  others 
of  the  Cabul  force  detained  in  this  place,  having 
requested  a  certificate  of  his  conduct,  we,  the 
undersigned,  have  much  pleasure  in  stating  that 
he  has  conducted  himself  with  great  kindness  and 
attention,  showing  every  desire  to  make  our  situa- 
tion as  little  irksome  as  possible." 

TJien  followed  the  signatures : — 

"C  Elphinstone,  Major-General ;  J.  Shelton, 
Brigadier ;  C  Mackenzie,  Assistant  Political  Agent, 
for  self  and  C.  Griffiths,  Major;  J.  A.  Souter, 
Captain,  44th  Regiment;  Vincent  Eyre,  Lieutenant, 
Artillery ;  B.  Waller,  Lieutenant,  Horse  Artillery ; 
G.  H.  P.  Lawrence,  Captain,  Cavalry;  W.  Anderson, 
Captain,  Shah  Soojah's  2nd  Cavalry ;  (a  name  here 
illegible);  J.  Boyd,  Captain;  H.  Robinson,  Cap- 
tain ;  A.  M.  Anderson ;  Fanny  Macnaghten ;  John 
Macgrath,  surgeon ;  Emily  Eyre ;  B.  Melville ;  F. 
Sale;  A.  Stiurt;  A.  Walker;  M.  Trevor;  G.  Mein; 
Lieutenant;  J.  Trevor;  (a  name  illegible);  J.  C 
Boyd;  G.  E.  B.  Mainwaring." 

This  document  was  still  in  possession  of  the 
original  recipient,  then  in  his  seventieth  year, 
Beha-uddun,  who  represented  himself  as  the  Syud 
of  Candahar,  and  stated  that  he  accepted  the  care 
of  the  unhappy  hostages,  of  whom  he  retained  a 
vivid  personal  recollection.  Old  General  Elphin- 
stone, who  died  in  the  tower  of  Bamian,  he  de- 
scribed as  always  suffering  firom  sickness  and  a  pain- 
ful wound  he  had  received  in  the  retreat,  and  unable 
to  speak  any  language  but  English.  Lady  Mac- 
naghten was  constantly  in  tears ;  but  Lady  Sale  ex- 
cited his  admiration  by  her  courage  and  resolution. 

He  remembered  several  of  the  children  by  name. 

Matters  still  seemed  quiet  at  Cabul  till  the  12th 
of  September,  on  which  Taimar,  one  of  the  soldiers 
of  the  Guide  Corps,  after  twelve  days  of  wandering 
and  great  suffering  in  the  savage  mountain  passes 
that  lie  between  Cabul  and  Lundikhani  Kotal, 
where  our  advanced  force  was  posted,  reached  that 
place  in  a  state  of  exhaustion  with  the  terrible 
tidings  that  the  Residency  had  been  attacked,  and 
that  all  our  people  therein  had  been  barbarously 
massacred — tidings  which  the  general  at  once  tele- 
graphed to  the  Viceroy  at  Simla. 

Taimar,  the  trooper,  was  an  Usbeg  Tartar,  and  no 
doubt  found  among  the  troops  that  had  come  in 

firom  Herat  many  of  his  own  race,  and  to  that  cir- 
cumstance owed  his  escape  from  Cabul. 

He  stated  that  on  the  morning  of  the  3rd  of 
September,  about  eight  o'clock,  the  Turkistani 
Ordal  Regiments  (said  by  one  account  to  be  three 
in  number,  by  another  to  be  twelve)  were  paraded 
for  arrears  of  pay,  in  the  Bala  Hissar.  Daud  Shah 
gave  them  one  month,  but  they  claimed  two,  and 
broke  out  into  open  mutiny.  A  soldier  cried, 
"  Let  us  kill  the  envoy,  and  then  the  Ameer ! " 
and  rushing  into  the  courtyard,  they  proceeded  to 
stone  some  of  the  servants  of  the  Residency ;  and 
then  the  Guides,  without  orders  from  their  officers, 
betook  them  to  their  carbines,  and  opened  a  fire 
from  the  windows  or  open  galleries. 

The  mutineers  rushed  away  to  procure  their 
arms  and  ammunition,  and  returned  in  a  quarter  of 
an  hour ;  thus  all  in  the  Residency  might  perhaps 
have  escaped  had  they  made  the  attempt. 

The  roof  of  that  edifice  being  commanded  by 
other  and  loftier  houses,  was  untenable,  yet  Sir 
Louis  and  his  party  made  a  sort  of  shelter-trench 
to  protect  them,  and  firom  the  windows  fired  on 
the  horde  of  mutineers,  who  were  now  joined 
by  the  people  of  the  city.  Hope  of  successful 
defence  or  of  victory  there  was  none.  Nothing 
was  left  for  them  but  to  fight  to  the  last  of  their 
blood  and  their  breath  ! 

About  one  o'clock,  Sir  Louis  Cavagnari  was 
severely  wounded  in  the  forehead  by  a  bullet 
which  ricochetted  from  a  stone  wall,  and  then,  it  is 
said,  but  dubiously,  Mr.  Jenkyns  sent  for  a 
moonshee  to  write  to  the  Ameer,  who  of  course 
was  perfectly  cognisant  of  what  was  in  progress. 
But  the  moonshee  was  too  terrified  to  do  so. 
Taimar  wrote,  stating  that  the  Residency  was 
attacked,  and  his  letter  was  sent  by  an  old  Guide 
trooper  named  Gholam  Nabbi  Kabuli,  while 
Cavagnari  was  carried  indoors  and  attended  by  Dn 
Kelly.  No  answer  came ;  but  Gholam  afterwards 
told  Taimar  that  the  Ameer  wrote  on  the  letter, 
"  If  God  will.     I  am  just  making  arrangements." 

Mr.  Jenkyns  despatched  a  second  letter,  it  was 
said,  demanding  aid ;  but  its  bearer,  a  Hindoo,  was 
cut  to  pieces  by  the  mutineers.  Two  hours  after- 
wards. Lieutenant  Hamilton  sent  Taimar  out  with 
a  letter  promising  six  months'  pay  to  the  mutineers, 
who  had  now  reached  the  roof  of  the  Residency. 
He  courageously  went  into  the  midst  of  the 
infuriated  crowd,  armed  and  in  his  uniform,  to 
deliver  the  message.  His  life  was  saved  by  an 
officer,  but  he  was  flung  from  the  roof  of  the 
Residency,  and  falling  on  another  lower  down, 
became  insensible,  and  was  robbed  of  all  he  had 
To  his  Usbeg  blood  he  perhaps  owed  his  escape 

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from  the  fate  that  befell  his  predecessor.  Taimar, 
whose  narrative  we  must  follow,  was  now  dis- 
armed and  placed  in  confinement  with  one  of  his 
comrades,  who  had  escaped  While  lying  there 
they  heard  the  din  of  the  musketry  and  the  yells 
of  the  Afghans  as  the  unequal  conflict  proceeded 
to  its  bitter  end. 

All  the  afternoon  and  night  the  tumult  raged, 
but  the  •  imprisoned  could  see  and  know  nothing 
of  it  Taimar  was  probably  forgotten,  for  just 
as  day  was  breaking  on  the  4th  of  September 
he  contrived  to  escape,  and  pass  through  the 
fanatical  mobs,  who  were  gathering  afresh  for 
blood  and  pillage. 

He  had  been  stripped  of  his  Guide  uniform — 
drab-faced  and  piped  with  red,  and  embroidered 
with  drab  lace — and  could  pass  unnoticed.  He 
got  clear  of  the  precincts  of  the  Bala  Hissar,  and 
when  once  out  in  the  plain,  among  the  walled 
gardens,  mud  forts,  groves,  and  orchards  which 
cover  it,  his  dark  face  enabled  him  to  thread  his 
way  at  will,  without  molestation  or  suspicion 

Thus  it  was  he  was  enabled  to  relate  all  he 
heard  and  saw,  as  he  actually  revisited  the 

It  would  seem  that  the  mutineers,  on  returning 
armed,  after  bursting  through  the  city  gate  of  the 
Bala  Hissar,  made  at  first  for  the  arsenal  buildings, 
and  after  looting  these,  turned  their  attention  to 
the  Residency  and  attacked  the  gate  of  it ;  but  so 
stout  was  the  defence  made  there  by  rifle,  sword, 
and  bayonet,  that  the  assailants  were  checked,  and 
eventually  set  the  house  on  fire. 

They  had  discovered  that  loftier  buildings,  as 
stated,  commanded  the  flat  roof  of  the  Residency, 
the  upper  storey  of  which,  being  an  ordinary  hot 
weather  sleeping-place,  open  all  round,  consisted 
of  a  wattled  and  plastered  roof,  supported  by  slight 
wooden  pillars.  Thus  the  mutineers  were  enabled, 
by  their  fire  from  the  arsenal  especially,  to  drive 
the  gallant  defenders  ultimately  to  the  ground 
floor,  where  for  four  hours  they  made  an  heroic 
resistance  against  the  mob  that  surged  around 
them,  so  close  that  the  young  oflftcers  of  Cavagnari*s 
suite  were  firing  their  pistols  into  the  very  faces  of 
their  assailants  with  deadly  effect 

It  was  at  this  time  that  the  fine  old  Afghan 
general,  Daud  Shah,  came  riding  from  the  Ameer's 
palace,  and  called  upon  the  troops  "  to  desist  from 
their  infamous  crime  ! " 

But  they  dragged  the  veteran  soldier  from  his 
horse,  wounded  him  by  a  bayonet,  and  finally 
stoned  him,  and  carried  him  back  to  his  master  in 
a  dying  condition.  Two  other  oflficers  of  rank,  one 
a  Sirdar,  who  strove  to  quell  ihc  disturbance,  were 

fired  on  and  forced  to  retire.  The  Residency,  too 
large  for  the  small  garrison  that  had  to  defend  it, 
was  now  surrounded  on  its  four  sides,  and  lighted 
brands  flung  on  its  roof  soon  set  the  upper  storey  in 
flames.  Then  it  was  that  the  urgent  messages  are 
said  to  have  been  sent  to  the  Ameer — which  seems 
the  only  doubtful  or  confused  point  of  Taimar's 
story,  for  around  the  edifice  was  a  mob  of  frantic 
men  bent  on  murder,  and  around  the  palace  an 
equally  frantic  mob  of  mollahs  and  their  fanatical 
followers,  threatening  the  Ameer. 

Despairing  of  all  succour  now,  the  surviving 
heroes  of  the  embassy  "charged  out  in  a  body, 
and  from  the  trench  that  had  beert  dug  before  the 
Residency,  defied  the  Moslem  dogs  to  the  last" 

It  must  have  been  at  this  time  that  Cavagnari 
received  his  wound,  and  was  carried  indoors. 
"The  fire  was  still  crackling  overhead,  and  very 
soon  the  roof  fell  in,  preserving  the  envoy's  body 
from  the  last  insult  of  a  savage  foe"  Dr.  Kelly 
had  already  been  wounded,  and  was  helped  into 
the  building  by  a  trooper  of  the  Guides. 

On  the  morning  of  the  4th,  as  stated,  Taimar 
visited  the  scene  of  these  horrors  to  glance  at 
the  vnccck  and  the  corpses  of  his  companions.  In 
the  courtyard,  across  a  mountain  gun,  stripped  of 
his  jacket,  and  wofuUy  gashed,  lay  the  body  of  the 
gallant  young  Hamilton;  and  beyond  it,  in  the 
trench  that  the  Afghans  failed  to  storm,  were  heaped 
thick  and  charred  by  fire,  the  corpses  of  the  heroic 
Guides.  Each  man  had  died  where  he  stood,  and 
in  their  rear  were  the  smouldering  ruins  of  the 
building  wherein  Cavagnari,  Kelly,  and  others  were 

Mr.  Jenkyns,  the  secretary,  had  also  perished 
He  was  a  native  of  Aberdeen,  and  had  been  twelve 
years  in  the  North-West  Provinces,  where  his  legal 
and  linguistic  abilities  secured  for  him  a  high 
position  in  the  Civil  Service. 

Some  410  Afghan  corpses  lay  by.  The  number 
of  wounded  would  probably  be  treble  that,  as 
every  cartridge  fired  by  the  desperate  few  must 
have  told  among  the  masses. 

Then  the  survivor — of  his  comrade  in  the  prison 
we  hear  nothing  more — turned  his  face  towards 
the  passes  that  led  to  India.  "All  about  the 
city  there  were  Afghans  enough — the  whole  hive 
seemed  restless  with  multitudinous  motion  ;  but 
when  the  solitary  traveller  (after  the  hideous  uproar 
of  the  past  night)  had  cleared  the  city  precincts, 
the  old  desolation  of  the  dreary  hill  country  lay 
stretched  before  him,  and  along  the  rugged  ways 
hardly  a  man  was  moving.  The  high  road  had 
dangers  for  the  escaped  trooper ;  and  it  was  pro- 
bably the  distance,  and  halts  he  had  to  make,  that 

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kept  him  twelve  days  and  nights  upon  the  road 
between  the  Afghan  capital  and  the  British 

The  Queen  and  the  Viceroy  both  telegraphed 
messages  of  condolence  to  Lady  Cavagnari,  who 

Personally  he  was  popular  with  the  natives,  as  he 
spoke  their  languages  fluently.  Owing  to  his  sun- 
burnt features  and  dark  hair,  he  was  capable  of 
assuming  an  Oriental  dress  so  readily  and  success- 
fully as  to  render  him  most  valuable  in  cases  where 

SIR  LOUIS  CAVAGNARI.     {From  a  Photograph  hy  Mr,  John  Burke's 

was  then  in  Edinburgh.  Sir  Louis  had  sent  to  her, 
shortly  before,  sketches  drawn  with  his  own  hand,  of 
the  fatal  Residency  in  which  he  had  found  a  tomb. 
The  Queen's  message  was  delivered  by  the  Lord 
Provost  in  person,  by  royal  command.  Sir  Louis  was 
only  in  his  thirty-seventh  year,  and  was  first  heard 
of  in  the  Jowaki  campaign,  and  had  the  highest 
reputation  as  a  political  officer  and  gallant  soldier. 

pluck  and  promptitude,  with  adroit  demeanour, 
were  requisite. 

Yakoub  Khan  expressed  his  deep  grief  for  the 
monstrous  outrages  perpetrated  by  his  people  under 
the  very  windows  of  his  palace,  but  these  ex- 
pressions were  not  believed  in  ;  and  now  the  Indian 
Government  began  to  insure  a  sharp  vengeance  on 
all  concerned  in  them. 

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"We  had  been  encamped  at  the  Kurram  for 
some  three  months  during  the  summer  of  1879," 
says  Major  Mitford,  of  the  14th  Bengal  Cavalry,  in 
his  interesting  narrative,  "and  all,  Europeans  and 
natives  alike,  were  suffering  more  or  less  from  the 
intense  heat  and  malaria — sufferings  made  much 
more  unendurable  in  the  case  of  the  former  by  the 
intense  dulness  and  ennui  which  prevailed,  and 
which  were  but  little  ameliorated  by  an  occasional 
languid  game  of  lawn  tennis  or  polo.  Men  were 
talking  of  furlough,  and  looking  eagerly  for  the 
time  when  leave  to  England  would  be  granted, 
when  the  news  of  the  attack  on  the  Residency  at 
Cabul,  and  of  the  massacre  of  poor  Cavagnari  and 
all  his  followers,  burst  upon  us  like  a  thunder-clap. 
All  were  in  the  wildest  state  of  excitement,  not 
diminished  when,  two  days  later,  came  the  order 
for  our  regiment  to  advance  and  join  the  leading 
column  at  Kushi,  the  first  halting-place  in  the 
Logar  Valley." 

The  immediate  advance  of  the  British  troops 
through  the  Shutargardan  was  deemed,  of  course, 
the  first  movement  necessary;  but  could  not  be 
executed  for  a  time.  To  move  troops  over  the 
stupendous  ridges  of  the  Afghan  mountains  and 
into  Cabul  at  once,  was  simply  impossible,  for  want 
of  transport,  that  element  so  necessary  having  been 
disorganised  by  the  great  mortality  of  camels  and 
cattle  during  the  progress  of  the  late  desultory 
war.  With  the  Kurram  field  force  alone  no  less 
than  9,496  camels  had  either  died  or  been  aban- 
doned, or  had  strayed  away. 

The  formidable  nature  of  the  country  to  be 
traversed  compelled  some  delay  in  the  arrangements 
for  transport 

The  route  of  advance  for  the  northern  columns 
would  be  along  the  stony  and  boulder-strewn  bed 
of  the  brawling  Khyber,  and  up  and  down  the 
precipitous  steeps  of  the  Lundikhani  Kotal,  through 
that  deep  and  desperate  mountain  cleft,  the  Khoord 
Khyber,  and  by  Jugdulluk  through  the  defiles  of 
the  Khoord  Cabul,  all  presenting  every  possible 
difficulty  for  the  transport  of  baggage,  stores,  and 
guns,  elephants  and  camels. 

Our  troops  in  advancing  would  labour  under 
every  disadvantage,  not  only  in  the  direction  of 
the  mountain  spurs,  but  in  the  chances  of  being 
harassed  by  the  hillmen — Ghilzies,  Mangals,  Moh- 
munds  and  Khyberees,  Afreedies,  Shinwarris,  and 
the  rest 

The  Government  of  the  Viceroy  made  the 
greatest  efforts  to  grapple  with  the  difficulty,  and 
hurry  forward  the  army  to  sustain  the  power  of 
the  Ameer  as  our  nominal  ally ;  for  it  became  evi- 
dent that  if  aid  did  not  reach  him  he  would  pro- 

bably be  slain  by  his  insurgent  troops,  or  have  to 
betake  himself  to  flight  as  our  friend^  or  put  him- 
self at  the  head  of  the  outbreak  as  our  open 

Sir  Donald  Stewart's  column  again  entered  and 
seized  Candahar,  which  it  had  so  recently  quitted, 
while  a  force  was  despatched  to  hold  Khelat-i- 
Ghilzie.  General  Massey  occupied  the  Shutar- 
gardan Pass,  and  General  Baker,  advancing  by 
the  same  defile,  took  up  a  position  at  KushL 
Towards  the  end  of  September,  General  Sir 
Frederick  Roberts  was  ready  to  begin  a  campaign, 
the  object  of  which  was  the  conquest  of  Cabul 
at  the  earliest  date. 

General  Bright,  C.B.,  who  had  served  in  the 
Eastern  campaign,  and  had  led  the  19th  Regiment 
at  Alma  and  Inkerman,  was  appointed  to  com- 
mand the  force  assembling  along  the  Khyber  route, 
with  Colonel  Wemyss  as  chief  of  his  staff*;  Colonel 
Tucker  was  Director  of  Transports.  General 
Bright  was  to  command  from  Attock  to  Jugdulluk, 
at  which  latter  point  the  Khyber  column  was  to 
co-operate  with  General  Roberts  moving  by  the 
Kurram  road  The  troops  to  advance  under 
Roberts  were  thus  detailed,  under  date  "Simla, 
loth  September,  1879,"  in  the  Madras  Times  : — 

Horse  and  field  artillery,  two  batteries;  one 
mountain  train  battery ;  one  squadron  Her 
Majesty's  9th  Lancers;  67th  South  Hampshhre 
Regiment;  72nd  Infantry,  Albany  Highlanders; 
92nd  Infantry,  Gordon  Highlanders;  12th  and 
14th  Bengal  Cavalry;  5th  Ghoorkas  and  wing  of 
the  5th  Punjaub  Cavahy ;  23rd  Pioneers ;  5th 
and  28th  Punjaub  Infantry;  3rd  Sikhs  and  one 
company  of  Sappers  and  Miners : — making  a  total 
of  barely  8,000  men. 

To  advance  simultaneously  and  open  communi- 
cation between  Peshawur  and  Cabul : — 

Five  batteries  of  artillery,  two  regiments  of 
British  cavalry,  and  four  of  Native ;  two  regiments 
of  British  infantry  and  four  of  Native,  with  two 
companies  of  Sappers,  in  addition  to  the  troops 
then  holding  the  Khyber  as  far  as  Lundikhani 
Kotal  and  the  valley  of  Peshawur. 

The  garrison  at  Kurram  was  to  consist  of 
three  batteries,  two  regiments  of  cavalry,  and 
nine  battalions  of  infantry,  two  of  which  were 

By  the  19th  of  September  our  troops  had  recon- 
noitred close  to  Kushi,  which  is  within  thirty-five 
miles  of  Cabul,  where  twelve  strong  regiments, 
with  many  guns,  were  reported  to  be  stationed. 

In  the  cavalry  and  most  of  our  infantry  regi- 
ments, blue,  scarlet,  and  gold  had  been  discarded, 
and  the  dress  substituted  was  karkee^  or  mud  colour. 

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with  putties^  or  leg  bandages.  The  Highland  troops, 
however,  retained  their  tartans.  The  white  and 
scarlet  pennons  were  laid  aside  by  the  Lancers. 

The  authorised  weight  of  an  officer's  "  kit,"  con- 
sisting of  a  tiny  double-roofed  tent,  seven  feet 
square,  was  eighty  pounds ;  i>ersonal  baggage  was 
restricted  to  the  same  weight. 

Several  of  our  infantry  regiments  had  been  at 
Ali  Kheyl,  within  sixty-five  miles  of  Cabul  by  road, 
for  some  months,  and  had  made  their  camps  neat, 
laying  down  plots  of  turf,  and  marking  the  paths 
with  pebbles  ;  many  of  their  canvas  dwellings  were 
sheltered  by  the  boughs  of  trees.  The  mess  tent 
of  the  92nd  Highlanders  was  made  commodious  by 
an  excavation  three  feet  deep,  a  plan  learned  in 
the  Crimea,  and  that  of  the  72  nd  was  in  a  comfort- 
able hut ;  but  when  the  forward  movement  began, 
these  little  comforts  had  to  be  relinquished  for  an 
open  camp  in  the  Shutargardan  Pass  and  at 
Kushi,  where  the  troops  that  had  come  from  the 
Kurram  Valley  and  elsewhere  were  awaiting  the 
arrival  of  General  Roberts  with  the  main  force. 

During  the  night  of  the  19th  of  September  the 
camp  of  the  72  nd  Highlanders  was  suddenly  fired 
into.  A  group  of  officers  were  standing  about  a 
wood  fire,  chatting  and  smoking,  when  the  shots 
from  a  neighbouring  hillside  came  whistling  among 
them.  They  immediately  scattered  the  burning 
logs,  so  that  the  enemy  might  have  nothing  to  aim 
by,  and  while  in  the  act  of  doing  so  were  fired  at 
again,  a  regular  volley  of  musketry  being  poured 
mto  the  camp;  but  only  one  Highlander  was 
wounded,  as  he  was  hurrying,  rifle  in  hand,  out  of 
his  tent 

The  picket  and  sentries  of  the  72nd  made  good 
use  of  their  arms,  and  a  company  was  sent  out  to 
clear  the  ground.  The  assailants,  who  were  sup- 
posed to  be  Ghazis,  or  fanatics,  under  religious 
excitement,  fled,  but  not  before  extinguishing  the 
lighted  beacon  used  to  show  the  way  to  the 

On  the  22nd  of  September  the  Mangals  attacked 
a  convoy  of  laden  mules,  escorted  by  only  eleven 
soldiers  of  the  5th  Punjaub  Infantry,  under  a 
British  oflScer,  in  an  out-of-the-way  spot  at  the 
entrance  of  the  pass.  Eight  sepoys  and  fifteen 
muleteers  were  slain,  chiefly  by  knives,  resistance 
being  useless,  as  the  Mangals  were  above  400 

At  the  same  time  they  attacked  a  tower  at  the 
summit  of  the  Sirkai  Kotal,  or  Red  Pass,  so  named 
from  the  peculiar  colour  of  the  road  which  as- 
cends it 

It  was  held  by  a  party  of  the  same  regiment, 
under  an  oflicer,  who  repulsed  them:   but  they 

ensconced  themselves  among  some  adjacent  rocks, 
and  maintained  an  annoying  fire  upon  the  de- 
fenders of  the  tower,  till  two  companies  of  the  72  nd 
came  from  their  camp  two  miles  distant,  on  which 
the  enemy  fled  by  unknown  paths  to  their 
mountain  summits,  from  which  they  poured  a 
volley  in  defiance  of  their  pursuers,  among  whom 
it  did  no  harm,  as  they  used  their  firelocks  at 
400  yards'  range. 

On  the  24th  of  September,  General  Baker,  C.B. 
and  V.C.,  with  his  brigade,  reached  Kushi,  "the 
Village  of  Delights,"  and  reported  that  the  country 
around  it  was  barren,  but  that  the  Logar  Valley 
looked  like  an  oasis  in  the  desert,  it  was  so 
fresh  and  green ;  and  that  abundant  supplies 
were  furnished  by  the  people.  On  the  follow- 
ing day  he  reconnoitred  the  Cabul  road  with  his 

On  the  27  th  of  September  an  advance  was  made 
by  cavalry  through  a  fertile  valley  near  the  banks 
of  the  Logar  stream  to  Zurgan  Shahr.  This  vale 
is  the  chief  granary  of  Cabul,  and  is  thickly  studded 
with  villages,  all  walled  and  gated — each  a  fort  in 
itself,  and  of  no  mean  strength,  owing  to  the  height 
of  the  walls. 

On  the  2nd  of  October  the  camp  at  Shutar- 
gardan, 11,200  feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea,  was 
attacked  unsuccessfully  by  some  of  the  hostile  and 
independent  tribes  in  the  vicinity,  chiefly  Ghilzies, 
but  they  were  repulsed  with  the  loss  of  thirty  killed 
On  our  side  Major  Griffiths,  of  the  3rd  Sikhs, 
Sergeant  Dubria,  of  the  signalling  party,  and  three 
of  the  3rd  Sikhs,  were  wounded.  This  regiment 
and  the  21st  Punjaubees  held  a  strongly  entrenched 
position  in  the  Shutargardan  Pass. 

Previous  to  this,  on  Sunday  the  28th  of  Septem- 
ber, a  band  of  most  unexpected  guests  arrived  at  the 
advanced  camp  of  Kushi.  It  consisted  of  twenty- 
five  horsemen,  including  the  leading  men  of  Cabul, 
and  headed  by  the  Ameer  Yakoub  Khan  in  person. 
They  rode  in  and  surrendered  themselves,  the 
Ameer  saying  that  he  had  no  longer  any  power  left, 
having  been  dethroned  by  his  own  mutinous 
troops.  "  What  his  true  reasons  for  this  step  may 
have  been,"  says  a  writer,  "we  never  knew;  cer- 
tainly not  the  one  he  gave,  for  no  Afghan  ever  told 
the  truth  intentionally." 

Tents,  and  a  guard  of  honour  furnished  by  the 
Gordon  Highlanders,  were  given  him.  Next  day 
was  marked  by  the  arrival  of  General  Roberts ;  and 
all  the  bands  joyously  played  him  and  his  staff 
into  camp,  while  every  face  brightened,  as  all  knew 
that  stem  work  was  close  at  hand  now.  The 
Ameer  did  not  condescend  to  leave  his  tent,  but 
lay  on  a  couch  in  the  doorway,  with  a  field-glass  in 

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his  hand  He  evinced  neither  curiosity  nor  excite- 
ment till  the  Highland  bag-pipes  struck  up ;  but 
at  all  other  times  preserved  an  aspect  of  stolid 
apathy.  "  He  is  a  man  of  about  six  or  seven-and- 
thuty,"  says  Major  Mitford,  "  with  a  light  almond 
complexion  and  a  very  long  hooked  nose,  the 
lower  part  of  the  face  hidden  by  a  black  beard 
and  moustache,  the  eyes  having  a  dazed  expression, 
like  that  of  a  freshly-caught  seal  This  is  said 
to  have  been  caused  by  the  five  years*  confine- 
ment in  a  dark  cell,  to  which  his  father,  Shere  Ali, 
subjected  him  for  conspiring  against  him." 

He  had  with  him  his  son,  Sirdar  Gahza  Khan, 
and  old  Daud  Shah,  still  suffering  from  the 
wounds  inflicted  during  the  mutiny  at  Cabul,  and 
which  were  dressed  by  British  medical  officers. 

General  Roberts  was  instructed  from  Simla  to 
issue  a  manifesto  to  the  Afghan  people,  to  the 
effect  that  the  British  army  was  advancing  on 
Cabul  for  the  object  of  avenging  the  treachery  of 
our  enemy,  and  that  all  peaceable  inhabitants  would 
be  unmolested  ;  but,  if  opposition  were  offered,  all 
t>ersons  with  arms  in  their  hands  would  be  treated 
as  enemies  of  the  British  Government  Non-com- 
batants, women,  and  children  were  advised  to 
withdraw  to  places  of  safety. 

After  some  interviews  with  the  Ameer,  General 
Roberts  concentrated  his  whole  force  at  Kushi. 
The  advance  on  Cabul  began  in  earnest,  and  the 
first  blow  for  vengeance  was  struck  on  the  field  of 
Chir  Asiih,  or  Charasiah  as  it  is  spelt  on  our 
regimental  colours. 


THE    THIRD    AFGHAN  WAR    (continued)  \ — THE    BATTLE    OF    CHARASIAH — THE    ASMAl    HEIGHTS — CABUL 

Charasiah,  the  scene  of  this  encounter,  is  about 
twelve  English  miles  from  Cabul,  and  its  name 
means  the  "Four  Water-Mills.**  The  troops  en- 
camped there  on  the  night  of  the  5  th  October, 
after  passing  through  the  romantic  Sang-i-Nawishta 
defile.  Cavalry  patrols  scoured  all  the  vicinity, 
and  the  troops,  weary  with  the  past  day's  march, 
turned  in  early,  little  aware  that  they  were  on  the 
eve  of  a  sharp  general  engagement 

Meanwhile  a  sure  guard  was  kept  over  Yakoub 
Khan  in  the  British  camp,  where  all  mistrusted 
him,  believing  that  he  had  given  himself  up  only 
on  pretence,  and  that  his  real  object  was  to  dis- 
cover our  weak  points. 

At  daybreak  on  the  6th  October,  two  cavalry 
patrols  were  sent  along  the  roads  that  led  from 
Charasiah  to  CabuL  That  which  lay  to  the  north, 
and  which,  after  crossing  the  Chardeh  Valley,  enters 
the  south-western  suburbs  of  the  city,  at  Deh 
Muzung,  was  reconnoitred  by  a  party  of  twenty 
men  of  the  14th  Bengal  Lancers,  under  Captain 
Neville,  while  the  southern  road,  leading  through 
the  Sang-i-Nawishta,  was  taken  by  Captain 
Apperiey,  with  twenty  of  the  9th  Lancers. 

At  nine  a.m.  Captain  Neville  reported  that  his 
party  had  been  fired  on  from  a  village,  and  that 
one  of  the  Lancers  had  his  horse  killed  under  him; 
and  Captain  Apperiey  reported  that  he  had  oc- 
cupied another  village  and  was  now  hard  pressed 
by    the    enemy.        Major    Mitford,    with   twenty 

Lancers,  was  at  once  sent  to  succour  Apperiey, 
while  some  Native  Infantry  went  at  the  double  in 
Neville's  direction. 

It  was  further  reported  that  the  enemy  were 
advancing  in  great  force  from  the  direction  of  the 
city,  occupying  the  defile  and  range  of  hills  to  the 
north,  between  Charasiah  and  Cabul,  and  soon 
these  points  were  seen  to  be  crowned  by  troops. 
City  people  and  parties  of  Ghilzies  appeared  on 
the  hills  overlooking  both  flanks  of  the  camp ;  and 
it  was  added  that  the  road  to  Khairabad,  where 
the  5th  Division  had  encamped,  was  threatened — 
news  which  brought  all  Roberts's  force  under 
arms;  for  along  that  road  General  Macpherson 
was  advancing  with  a  large  convoy  of  stores  and 
ammunition.  Warning  was  sent  to  that  officer,  with 
some  assistance  in  cavalry,  and  it  was  found  that 
it  would  be  absolutely  necessary,  at  all  hazards,  to 
carry  the  heights  in  front  before  evening. 

Meanwhile,  ere  the  cavalry  patrols  came  in,  a 
battle  had  been  fought,  in  which  they  encountered 
a  little  exciting  work.  "We  outstripped  our 
guide,"  wrote  Major  Mitford,  "and,  taking  a 
wrong  turning,  I  came  upon  Neville,  who  showed 
me  which  way  the  9th  patrol  had  gone,  and  after  a 
scramble  across  country  I  hit  on  the  right  path, 
which  I  found  blocked  by  villagers  carrying  beds, 
clothes,  cooking  pots,  and,  in  short,  all  their 
removable  household  goods,  in  the  direction  of  our 
camp.      I   soon  heard  firing  ahead,  and  at  five 

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minutes  past  ten  came  up  with  Apperle/s  party. 
His  men  had  dismounted,  and  he  had  placed  them 
in  a  capital  position,  occupying  a  shallow  ditch 
surrounding  a  small  square  mud  fort,  under  cover 
of  which  he  had  placed  his  horses." 

In  front  of  this  improvised  post  rose  a  range  of 
steep  and  rocky  hills,  broken  in  front  by  the  Sang- 
i-Nawishta  Pass,  which  means  "The  Written 
Stone,"  from  an  ancient  Persian  inscription  carved 
on  a  mass  of  rock  in  the  middle  of  the  defile, 
stating  that  the  road  had  been  made  in  the  reign 
of  Shah  Jehan — a  rock  afterwards  removed  to  the 
fkx)nt  of  Sir  Frederick  Roberts's  quarters  at  Sherpur. 
•  Round  the  left  of  the  post  rose  another  range 
of  hills,  steep,  barren,  and  stony.  On  the  left 
fr-ont  were  some  garden  walls,  from  which  the 
Afghans  were  firing,  but  their  bullets  seemed 
chiefly  to  be  expended  in  the  air  or  against  the 
mud  walls  of  the  fort,  into  which  they  sank  with  a 
dull  thud.  The  range  showed  that  they  used 
rifles,  with  the  sighting  of  which  they  were  totally 

In  a  garden  to  the  right  of  the  post  was  a  small 
dismounted  party  of  the  12th  Bengal  Cavahy,  and 
all  were  busy  returning  by  carbine  fire  that  of  the 
enemy,  who  occasionally  showed  themselves,  but 
carefully  kept  among  ground  too  broken  to  permit 
cavalry  in  the  saddle  to  act  against  them. 

Mitford  received  orders  from  the  chief  of  the 
staff"  to  hold  his  ground,  as  succours  were  near  ; 
and  they  soon  appeared — three  Royal  Artillery  guns, 
under  Major  Parry,  and  a  wing  of  the  Gordon 
Highlanders,  under  Major  G.  Stewart  White; 
100  of  the  23rd  Pioneers,  and  two  squadrons  of 
the  5th  Punjaub  Cavalry,  sent  by  General  Baker, 
to,  whom  the  task  of  carrying  the  heights  was 

White  took  command  of  the  post  now,  as  senior 
officer ;  and  then  heavy  firing  on  the  left  announced 
that  Baker  was  pushing  on  towards  the  hills,  along 
the  green  slopes  of  which  the  white  smoke  of 
cannon  and  musketry  was  seen  eddying  in  the 
morning  breeze. 

When  Major  White's  mixed  force  moved  from 
under  cover,  the  heights  on  both  sides  of  the 
Sang-i-Nawishta  Pass  were  seen  manned  by  the 
enemy,  carrying  innumerable  standards — red,  green, 
white,  dark  blue,  and  yellow,  the  colours  of  the 
different  tribes,  or  of  the  villages  from  whence 
the  people  came.  The  dark  battalions  of  the 
Ameer's  regular  but  revolted  troops,  were  all  clad 
in  sombre  brown,  faced  with  red ;  and  conspicuous 
among  them  were  the  Ghazis,  or  religious  fanatics, 
in  spotless  white. 

The  three  guns  at  this  point  now  opened  fire  on 

the  nearest  crowded  hiU,  and  to  them  four  rifled 
mountain  guns  in  the  pass  replied,  making  very  good 
practice  indeed. 

"  I  mean  to  drive  the  enemy  off*  the  hills  on  our 
right  with  my  own  men,"  said  Major  White,  of  the 
92nd,  confidently,  and  ordered  the  guns  to  advance 
and  direct  their  fire  on  the  crest  of  the  nearest 
eminence,  where  a  number  of  men  with  standards 
were  posted.  They  therefore  advanced  to  within 
1,500  yards,  and  again  opened  fire. 

"  I  had  now  been  joined  by  Captain  Neville 
with  his  patrol,"  says  Major  Mitford,  **so  I 
took  the  gun  escort,  leaving  the  5  th  Punjaub 
Cavalry  free  to  act  should  an  opportunity  occur. 
Meanwhile  we  had  leisure  to  watch  the  advance 
of  the  92  nd,  which  was  a  splendid  sight  The 
dark  green  kilts  went  up  the  steep  rocky  hill- 
side at  a  fine  rate,  though  one  would  occa- 
sionally drop,  and  roll  several  feet  down  the  slope, 
showing  that  the  rattling  fire  kept  up  by  the 
enemy  was  not  all  show.  Both  sides  took 
advantage  of  every  available  atom  of  cover,  but 
still  the  gallant  kilts  pressed  on  and  up,  and  it  was 
altogether  as  pretty  a  piece  of  light  infantry  drill 
as  could  be  seen." 

The  fire  of  Parry's  guns  was  meanwhile  excel- 
lent ;  shell  after  shell  exploded  fairly  on  the  crest 
of  the  hill  he  aimed  at,  and  whenever  the  enemy 
could  be  seen  preparing  to  charge,  as  they  often 
did.  Shell  after  shell  was  sent  in  return,  but 
they  passed  over  the  heads  of  our  troops,  exploding 
in  the  rear  or  plunging  harmlessly  into  a  soft 
ploughed  field.  By  four  p.m.  Parry  silenced  these 
guns;  the  Highlanders  were  still  advancing,  and 
here  it  was  that  their  commander  won  his  Victoria 

Finding  that  neither  rifle  nor  artillery  fire  would 
dislodge  the  enemy,  he  resolved  to  storm  the  hill 
in  person.  "  Advancing  with  two  companies  of 
his  regiment,  and  climbing  from  one  steep  ledge  to 
another,"  says  the  Gazette,  "  he  came  upon  a  body 
of  the  enemy,  strongly  posted,  and  outnumbering 
his  force  by  eighteen  to  one.  His  men  being 
much  exhausted,  and  immediate  action  necessary, 
Major  White  took  a  rifle,  and  going  on  by  himself, 
shot  dead  the  leader  of  the  enemy." 

This  action  so  intimidated  the  enemy  there,  that 
they  fled  down  the  other  side  of  the  hill,  and  the 
Highlanders  crowned  it  with  a  ringing  cheer.  The 
four  mountain  gtms  were  now  captured  in  the  defile ; 
the  horse  of  one,  a  beautiful  grey,  was  found  torn 
almost  to  pieces  by  a  shell,  yet  still  living,  till  a 
carbine  ball  put  it  out  of  pain.  Though  an  im- 
portant result  had  been  gained,  our  losses  at  this 
point  were  only  three  Highlanders  killed  and  six 

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io8  BRITISH   BATTLES   ON    LAND   AND   SEA.  icha^uoh. 
















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wounded;   one  cavalry  soldier  killed  and  three 

the  5th  Ghoorkas,    5th    Punjaub    Infantry,   and 
23rd  Pioneers  following.     The  ground  here  was 

PLAN  OF  THE  BATTLE  OF  CHARASIAH  (OCT.  6,    1879). 

Meanwhile,  General  Baker  had  pushed  through 
the  range  of  hills  towards  the  Chardeh  road,  the 
Albany  Highlanders  leading  the  van ;  No.  2 
Mounted  Battery,    some  Gatlings,   the  wings  of 

of  a  most  precipitous  nature,  and  held  by  a 
column  of  the  enemy  above  4,000  strong,  under 
six  standards.  Our  troops  made  their  way  bravely 
onward  and  upward,  under  a  rolling  and  rattling 

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musketry  fire.  They  met  with  a  most  stubborn 
resistance,  for  over  two  hours,  although  they  were 
splendidly  handled  by  Baker,  and  ably  led  by 
their  officers. 

Here,  singular  to  say,  the  mountain  guns  proved 
of  little  use  and  the  Catlings  broke  down  at  once, 
both  circumstances  being  due  to  the  acute  angle  of 

At  last  the  hill  was  taken  in  rear  by  a  turning 
movement  made  to  the  right  by  the  Gordon  High- 
landers, who,  with  pipes  playing  and  colours  flying, 
came  rushing  up  the  slope  of  the  hill ;  the  enemy 
gave  way,  and  the  leading  brigade  crowned  the 
heights  and  manned  the  defile  before  dark. 

By  four  o'clock  the  Afghans  were  completely 
routed,  and  fled  towards  Cabul,  with  the  loss  of 
two  standards,  four  hundred  killed,  a  vast  number 
of  wounded,  and  twenty  pieces  of  cannon,  of 
various  calibre,  including  some  breech-loaders  and 
mountain  guns. 

Our  losses  were,  Captain  Young  of  the  5  th 
Punjaub  Infantry,  Lieutenant  Fergusson,  72nd 
Highlanders,  and  Dr.  Duncan,  of  the  23rd  Pioneers, 
wounded,  and  about  eighty  rank  and  file  killed  and 

Strong  pickets  were  posted  for  the  night  in  every 
direction,  as  large  bodies  of  Chilzies  were  hovering 
about ;  and  as  the  general  expected  to  be  able  to 
march  nearer  Cabul  on  the  morrow,  he  ordered  all 
tents  to  be  struck  and  packed,  so  the  camp  became 
a  bivouac 

These  formidable  Chilzies,  who  had  now  joined 
the  enemy  in  force,  and  were  fighting  against  us, 
are  an  inner  circle  of  hill-men  along  the  frontier 
from  Peshawur  and  Quettah,  and  are  in  them- 
selves a  nation  distinct  from  the  Afghan  of  the 
plains,  the  Cabulees,  Heratees,  Candaharees,  and 
other  tribes  of  Persian  origin,  and  more  than  once 
they  have  distinguished  themselves  in  history  by 
independent  action.  In  the  Afghan  war  of  1839-42 
the  Chilzies  were  our  most  indefatigable  and 
dangerous  enemies,  when  they  swarmed  upon  the 
skirts  of  our  unhappy  retreating  army.  Half  of 
the  fighting  in  those  perilous  campaigns  was  against 
them,  and  half  the  losses  we  suffered  in  the  field 
were  inflicted  by  their  hands,  as  their  juzails  were 
almost  superior  to  the  old  "  Brown  Bess  "  of  those 

They  have  harassed  all  our  generals ;  thus,  while 
Craigie  was  holding  Khelat-i-Chilzie  against  7,000 
of  them,  Pollock  was  imperilled  by  a  gathering  of 
them  in  the  Shinwarri  Valley.  In  the  Khoord 
Cabul  passes,  and  along  the  eastern  fi*ontier,  they 
were  ubiquitous,  and  are  hardy,  brave,  cruel,  and 

Badshah  Khan,  their  chief,  our  telegrams  from 
India  told  the  people  at  home,  had  come  forward 
with  offers  of  assistance  and  assurances  of  friend- 
ship, yet  it  was  to  him  that  Yakoub  Khan  assigned 
the  safe  keeping  of  the  road  from  the  Shutargardan 
Pass  to  the  gates  of  Cabul ;  and  now  it  was  con- 
fidently hoped  that  Ceneral  Roberts  would  find 
means  to  make  a  settlement,  by  which  these  pesti- 
lent Chilzies,  as  a  nation  of  hill  robbers,  would 
cease  to  exist;  and  he  reported  that  the  engage- 
ment on  the  6th  had  evidently  been  so  arranged, 
that  the  Chilzies  should  attack  our  rear  and  flanks, 
while  our  advance  was  opposed  in  front,  by  a  force 
from  Cabul,  on  the  hills  above  Charasiah. 

On  the  day  after  the  battle,  "  we  (the  cavalry) 
paraded  next  morning  at  five  o'clock,  the  7th  of 
October,"  says  Major  Mitford,  "  and  our  men  were 
kept  waiting,  mounted,  in  a  bitterly  cold  wind,  for 
a  considerable  time.  At  last  we  moved  off,  taking 
the  same  route  we  had  taken  the  day  before,  and 
passing  the  scene  of  action,  entered  the  narrow 
part  of  the  pass,  which  consists  of  a  winding,  stony 
road,  in  some  places  slabs  of  granite,  with  a  steep 
rocky  hill  rising  on  the  left,  and  the  deep  stream 
of  the  Logar  flowing  on  the  right  We  passed 
several  Afghan  guns,  deserted  en  route^  some  having 
apparently  been  abandoned  because  they  had  got 
into  difficulties  from  which  the  teams  could  not 
extricate  them ;  others  had  broken  wheels  or 
axletrees.  These  were  all  afterwards  brought  into 

The  forward  movement  on  Cabul  had  been  re- 
sumed, but  the  7th  of  October  passed  quiedy. 

Ceneral  Roberts  was  before  Cabul  on  the  morn- 
ing of  the  8th,  and  found  that  though  the  enemy 
had  abandoned  the  picturesque  old  city,  a  body  of 
Afghan  troops  who  had  returned  from  Kohistan, 
had  entrenched  themselves  on  a  high  hill  in  rear  of 
the  Bala  Hissar,  and  that  it  would  be  necessary  to 
dislodge  them  before  entering  the  pkice.  General 
Roberts  sent  Ceneral  Massey,  with  eight  squadrons 
of  cavalry,  round  by  the  north  of  the  city  to  watch 
the  roads  leading  to  Bamian  and  Kohistan,  and  to 
cut  off  the  enemy's  retreat,  while  Ceneral  Baker 
delivered  an  attack  in  front 

Baker  was  unable  to  attack  on  the  evening  of 
the  8th  owing  to  the  darkness,  and  before  daylight 
came  in,  Macpherson  had  joined  him  with  Her 
Majesty's  67th  Regiment,  the  28th  Native  Infentry, 
and  four  Horse  Artillery  guns  on  elephants.  After 
this,  the  enemy,  deeming  discretion  the  better  part 
of  valour,  fled  in  the  night,  abandoning  twelve 
pieces  of  cannon — six  field  and  six  mountain  guns. 

The  cavalry  were  at  once  ordered  in  pursuit  under 
Ceneral  Massey  and  Brigadier-Ceneral  Cough.  They 

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moved  off,  at  first  at  a  walking  pace,  about  ten  a.m., 
probably  because  the  plain  in  the  immediate  vicinity 
of  Cabul  is  encumbered  by  obstacles,  isolated  forts 
or  small  square  enclosures,  loopholed,  and  so-called 
orchards  and  walled  gardens,  all  affording  cover 
for  skirmishers,  especially  if  trained  and  dis- 

One  of  the  objects  of  our  cavalry  here  was  to 
keep  away  from  these  covers  as  much  as  possible, 
as  none  knew  what  force  might  be  lurking  behind 
the  loopholed  walls,  so  they  rode  out  into  the 
open  plain  towards  the  Siah  Sang  (or  "Black 
Rock"),  and  past  the  abandoned  cavalry  lines  of 
the  Ameer's  army.  On  their  left  rose  the  towering 
Bala  Hissar,  with  its  crenelated  ramparts  and 
great  bastions  glowing  red  in  the  morning  sun, 
high  above  even  the  smoke  of  the  city,  the 
background  of  the  whole  being  the  barren  rocky 
crest  of  the  Takt-i-Shah,  and  the  great  ridge  of 
Asmai,  which  was  occupied  by  a  considerable  force 
of  the  enemy. 

It  is  an  irr^ular  rocky  ridge,  about  i,ooo 
feet  high,  very  precipitous,  and  in  many  places 
completely  inaccessible  from  the  plain  below.  It 
separates  the  valley  of  Cabul  from  that  of  Chardeh, 
and  has  a  total  altitude  of  6,700  feet  above  the 
level  of  the  sea. 

Here,  then,  were  the  Afghans,  clustering  with 
their  dark  figures  in  relief  against  the  grey  granite 
rocks,  and  their  arms  flashing  in  the  sunshine. 

General  Massey  now  wished  to  open  a  helio- 
graphic  communication  with  Sir  Frederick  Roberts, 
but  this  proved  impossible,  as  the  great  ridge  of  the 
Siah  Sang  intervened  The  cavalry  could  now 
see  a  body  of  our  infantry,  with  some  light  moun- 
tain guns,  creeping  up  the  eastern  flank  of  the 
Asmai  heights,  and  Massey,  instantly  concluding 
that  this  movement  was  made  to  clear  them,  set 
off  with  his  cavalry  on  the  spur  for  a  pass 
named  the  Owshar  Kotal,  at  the  western  extremity, 
and  went  along  the  front  of  the  extensive  Sherpur 
cantonments,  which  lay  under  the  shadow  of  the 
Behmani  ridge. 

Wthin  these,  a  very  extraordinary  sight  presented 
itsel£  There,  packed  wheel  to  wheel,  stood  the 
whole  reserve  of  Afghan  artillery — ^guns  of  every 
kind  and  size,  with  mortars,  tumbrils,  and  spare 
carriages.  There  was  no  time  to  count  them  then, 
but  eventually  they  were  found  to  number  seventy- 
two  pieces  of  cannon  and  mortars,  including 
seventeen  Armstrongs,  and  among  the  former  was 
an  old  Dutch  brass  gun,  bearing  the  date  1625. 

How  it  ever  found  its  way  up  country  so  far  as 
the  mountains  of  Cabul  is  as  great  a  mystery  as 
that  of  the  Scottish  cannon  of  the  Covenanting 

times,  which,  as  we  have  recorded  in  its  place, 
was  found  upon  the  ramparts  of  Bhurtpore. 

The  enemy  were  still  in  their  rocky  position 
when  the  cavalry  drew  their  bridles  to  breathe  ' 
their  horses,  in  some  swampy  ground,  where  they 
were  fired  upon  by  small  parties  that  came  rushing 
down  the  spurs  for  that  purpose.  A  shell  from  one 
of  our  mountain  guns  now  exploded  on  the  crest 
of  the  height,  when  the  enemy  raised  shouts  of 
derision,  waved  their  standards,  and  danced  like 
madmen ;  but  the  next  exploded  with  more  fatal 
effect  It  ended  their  defiant  hilarity,  and  sent 
them  all  flying  to  cover  behind  every  available 
rock.  As  the  cavalry  were  actually  in  rear  of  the 
position,  every  action  of  the  enemy  was  perceptible 
to  them. 

The  mountain  guns  continued  to  make  good 
practice,  yet  did  not  inflict  much  damage,  as  they 
could  not  be  brought  closer,  and  the  ground  was, 
by  its  nature,  utterly  impracticable  for  the  mules 
that  drew  them.  Seeing  that  the  enemy  had  no 
appearance  of  abandoning  the  Asmai  heights, 
General  Baker,  leaving  a  squadron  of  the  12  th, 
and  another  of  the  14th  Bengal  Regiments  to 
watch  their  movements,  led  the  rest  of  his  cavalry 
through  the  Owshar  Kotal  to  the  Chardeh  plain, 
where  there  is  a  clear  bright  stream,  and  there  the 
horses  were  watered. 

With  the  rest  of  his  brigade  he  now  prepared  to 
watch  a  camp  that  had  been  formed  near  a  village 
named  Deh  Mozung,  near  the  entrance  to  Cabul, 
and  on  the  main  road  to  GhaznL  Here  the 
native  guides  abandoned  them,  but  were  overtaken, 
and  shot  on  the  spot ;  and  about  this  time  the  firing 
on  the  Asmai  heights  began  to  die  away. 

Indeed,  the  enemy  were  so  dispersed  now,  that 
the  cavalry  of  Massey  and  Gough  overtook  only 
small  parties,  who  made  little  or  no  resistance ;  but 
the  duty,  after  sunset,  was  not  without  its  perils, 
especially  among  unknown  ground  when  darkness 
fell,  and  some  of  the  Bengal  Cavahy,  in  proceeding 
to  villages  on  the  plain  of  Chardeh,  where  they 
were  to  bivouac  for  the  night,  went  astray.  "  How- 
ever," says  Major  Mitford,  "  after  riding  some  three 
or  four  miles  over  ditches,  round  walls,  &c,  our 
trumpet  was  answered  by  our  own  regimental  call, 
and  we  made  for  a  high-walled  village  with  a  garden 
attached  The  approach  was  through  a  very  narrow 
passage,  between  walls  reaching  well  above  our 
heads  -y  and  just  as  the  rear  files  of  my  squadron 
were  entering  it,  a  volley  was  fired  into  them  from 
a  patch  of  brushwood  barely  twenty  yards  off.  The 
rear  was  instantly  turned,  and  plunging  down  a 
watercourse,  went  through  the  copse  in  the  dim  twi- 
light   They  did  not  fire  a  shot,  but  next  morning 

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seven  bodies  showed  that  the  lances  had  done 
their  work — not  a  bad  score  for  eight  men  at  night 
We  packed  as  best  we  could  into  the  garden,  already 
occupied  by  the  5th  Punjaub  Cavalry,  and  drawing 
up  in  sections  {ie.^  four  abreast)  in  the  broad  dry 
water  channels,  each  man  lay  down  as  he  dismounted 
alongside  his  horse,  while  the  officers  took  posses- 
sion of  a  small  square  platform  in  the  centre." 

This  was  the  village  of  Killa  KazL 

The  9th  Lancers,  who  occupied  a  neighbouring 
village,  were  fired  upon  in  the  same  manner  by  a 
hidden  party  in  the  dark.  And  with  the  cavalry  so 
passed  the  night  of  the  8th  of  October. 

Next  morning  they  departed  for  a  reconnaissance, 
riding  in  single  file  along  the  narrow  bridle-paths 
and  through  water-courses,  till  they  struck  on  the 
main  road  to  Ghazni,  which  was  wide,  but  muddy. 
Along  it  the  brigade  went  at  a  gallop,  passing  many 
evidences  of  the  hasty  flight  of  the  enemy,  for  the 
Kohistanees,  the  Ghilzies,  Logarees,  and  other  tribes 
who  had  assembled  to  fight  the  Briibh,  had  all  fled 
through  the  Owshar  Kotal,  which  had  been  left 
open,  and  were  now  retreating  quickly  to  the  moun- 
tain fastnesses.  On  all  sides  lay  abandoned  tents, 
cooking  vessels,  and  dying  Cabul  ponies. 

The  brigade  continued  to  gallop  on,  though 
more  than  one  troop-horse  sank  under  its  rider, 
and  was  found  dead  and  stiffening  when  the  force 
returned  in  the  evening,  till  a  small  watch  tower, 
named  the  Kotal-i-Takt,  was  reached  at  the  head 
of  a  valley,  and  a  report  came  that  the  enemy  were 
in  sight  on  some  hills  to  the  right. 

Leaving  the  14th  Bengal  Cavalry  in  reserve,  the 
9th  Lancers  and  5th  Punjaub  went  at  an  easy  pace 
along  the  foot  of  the  hills,  while  the  12th  Bengal 
Cavalry  reconnoitred  the  Ghazni  road.  File-firing 
now  rang  along  the  hills  held  by  the  Afghans,  which 
overlooked  the  fertile  Maidan  Valley  through  which 
the  Cabul  flows.  It  was  briskly  responded  to  by 
the  skirmishers  of  the  main  body,  extended  on  foot 
with  their  carbines.  They  shot  about  a  dozen  or  so 
of  the  enemy,  and  routed  them,  with  the  loss  of  a 
white  standard  fringed  with  blue,  and  embroidered 
with  warlike  texts  from  the  Koran. 

The  weary  cavalry  now  turned  their  horses'  heads 
towards  Cabul,  and  en  route  were  met  by  people  of 
the  villages,  proffering  fruit  for  sale — melons,  pome- 
granates, and  magnificent  grapes,  which  proved 
most  welcome  to  the  thirsty  troopers. 

On  the  loth  General  Gough,  with  four  guns,  the 
9th  Regiment,  24th  Punjaub  Infantry,  and  the  loth 
Bengal  Lancers,  marched  to  attack  and  clear  out 
Barikab,  on  the  road  to  Jellalabad ;  and  by  that 
time  General  Hughes,  with  his  column,  had  pushed 
on  to  within  fourteen  miles  of  Khelat-i-Ghilzie. 

By  this  time  Roberts  was  encamped  on  the 
Siah  Sang  range,  immediately  overlooking,  and 
within  1,300  yards  of,  the  city  and  Bala  Hissar. 
Up  to  that  period  he  had  captured  no  guns,  and 
expected  to  find  thirty  more  in  the  citadel 

On  Sunday,  the  12th  of  October,  Sir  Frederick 
Roberts  made  his  public  entry  into  Cabul.  Early 
on  that  morning  the  cavalry  furnished  a  chain  of 
double  vedettes  for  two  miles  round  the  camp  to 
bar  ingress,  lest  some  mad  fanatic  might  make 
an  attempt  upon  the  life  of  the  general 

The  procession  started  from  head-quarters  at  ten 
o'clock,  the  son  of  the  Ameer  riding  on  the  right 
hand  of  General  Roberts.  Too  wary,  or  too 
cunning,  Yakoub  Khan  became  sullen  at  last, 
pleaded  indisposition,  and  remained  in  camp. 
From  the  latter  to  the  gate  of  the  Bala  Hissar  the 
way  was  lined  by  our  troops  in  the  best  uniforms 
they  could  muster.  The  9th  Queen's  Royal 
Lancers  led  the  way,  and  were  conspicuous  for 
their  smart  and  gallant  bearing. 

Each  corps  presented  arms  in  succession ;  and 
on  reaching  the  citadel  gate,  the  general  read  in  a 
loud  voice  to  the  assembled  people  the  proclamation 
already  referred  to,  and  the  terms  of  which  were 
these : — 

'*  As  the  inhabitants  have  pertinaciously  opposed 
the  advance,  after  warning,  they  have  become 
rebels,  and  added  to  the  previous  guilt  of  abetting 
the  murder  of  the  British  envoy  and  his  com- 
panions. Though  the  British  Government  could 
justly  and  totally  destroy  Cabul,  yet  in  mercy  the 
city  will  be  spared,  but  a  punishment  to  be  re- 
membered is  necessary  j  therefore  those  portions  of 
the  city  which  interfere  with  the  military  occupation 
of  the  Bala  Hissar  will  be  immediately  levelled, 
and  a  heavy  fine  be  imposed. 

**  Cabul  and  the  surrounding  country  for  a  radius 
of  twelve  miles  will  be  placed  under  martial  law ;  a 
military  governor  will  be  appointed,  and  the  in- 
habitants are  warned  to  submit  to  his  authority. 

"  This  punishment  of  the  whole  city  does  not 
absolve  individuals.  Searching  inquiry  into  the 
circumstances  of  the  outbreak  will  be  made,  and 
the  participators  dealt  with. 

"  Carrying  arms  is  forbidden  in  the  city,  and 
within  a  radius  of  five  miles ;  persons  found  armed 
within  a  week  from  the  date  of  this  proclamation 
are  liable  to  the  penalty  of  death. 

"All  articles  belonging  to  the  late  embassy  to 
be  delivered  up;  also  fire-arms  or  anununition 
formerly  issued  to,  or  seized  by,  the  Afghan  troops 
to  be  produced.  Rewards  to  be  given  for  all  rifles 
brought  in. 

"  Rewards  are  offered  for  the  surrender  of  any 

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person  concerned  in  the  attack  on  the  embassy,  or 
for  information  leading  to  capture.  Similar  rewards 
are  offered  for  any  person  who  has  fought  against 
the  British  troops  since  September  3rd ;  and  larger 
rewards  are  offered  for  rebel  officers  of  the  Afghan 

He  then  took  formal  possession  of  the  city  in  the 
name  of  Her  Majesty,  and  our  standard  was  hoisted 
on  the  walls.  The  Horse  Artillery  guns,  which 
were  drawn  up  near  the  gate,  now  thundered  forth 
a  royal  salute,  waking  every  echo  in  the  ancient 
courts  and  walls,  followed  by  three  ringing  British 
cheers  for  the  Empress  of  India. 

Meanwhile  the  Afghans  looked  on,  silent  and 
sullen,  with  hatred  in  their  dark  and,  in  many 
instances,  hideous,  faces.  Though  many  of  the 
children  are  almost  beautiful,  says  the  writer  before 
quoted,  yet  they  "develop  into  most  villainous- 
looking  scoundrels.  Shylock,  Caliban,  and  Sycorax 
his  dam,  have  all  numerous  representatives,  though 
I  think  the  first  is  the  commonest  type,  on 
account  of  the  decidedly  Jewish  cast  of  most 
Cabulees*  features,  and  the  low  cunning  and  cruelty 
which  supply  the  only  animation  in  their  other- 
wise stolid  countenances,  true  indices  of  the  mind 
beneath — fatalist  by  creed ;  false,  murderous,  and 
tyrannical  by  education.  In  this  description  I  do 
not  include  the  Kizil  Bash  (Persian)  or  Hindoo 
setders,  who  preserve  their  own  distinctive  features, 
both  mental  and  physical." 

Elsewhere  he  says  the  very  names  point  to  a 
Jewish  origin;  as,  for  instance,  Ibraham  for 
Abraham ;  Izhac  for  Isaac ;  Yakoub  for  Jacob ; 
Ishmad  for  Samuel;  Moosa  for  Moses;  and 
Zahariah  for  Zachariah. 

The  troops  now  marched  back  to  their  respective 
camps.  The  ceremony  was  over,  but  the  work  of 
the  army  did  not  end  with  it  Yet,  so  nearly  did 
General  Roberts  conclude  that  little  more  re- 
mained to  be  done  in  the  way  of  fighting,  that 
he  telegraphed  requesting  that  the  siege  train 
which  was  coming  up  with  the  Khyber  column 
might  return  to  India,  "as  the  heavy  guns  and 
howitzers  originally  presented  by  the  British 
Government  to  the  Ameer  are  now  in  our  posses- 

On  the  13th  instant,  to  impress  the  populace, 
there  was  a  march  of  the  troops  of  all  arms, 
horse,  foot,  and  artillery,  through  all  the 
principal  streets  of  Cabul,  of  which  General 
Hill  was  appointed  military  governor,  assisted 
by  the  Nawab  Gholam  Hussein  Khan.  But  this 
display  was  without  effect  elsewhere,  as  on  the 
following  day,  at  an  early  hour  in  the  morning,  our 
post  at  Ali  Kheyl  was  attacked  by  a  great  body  of 

Mangals,  Shinwarris,  Hassan,  and  Ahmed  Kheyls, 
mustering  above  1,500,  who  were  repulsed  with  a 
loss  of  twenty-three  killed  and  many  wounded. 
After  this,  the  8th  and  29th  Native  Infantry  Regi- 
ments, with  a  detachment  of  cavalry,  made  a 
brilliant  counter  attack,  with  the  loss  of  only  five 

Our  posts  at  the  Shutargardan  Pass  and  Sirkai 
Kotal,  on  being  menaced,  were  reinforced  by  the 
2 1  St  Punjaub  Infantry,  under  Major  Collis,  with 
two  guns.  He  was  attacked  by  the  enemy  2,000 
strong,  and  the  latter  having  subsequently  been 
reinforced  by  2,000  men,  assailed  his  little  force 
with  incredible  fury. 

Major  Collis  charged  them  with  the  bayonet, 
hurling  the  confused  hordes  back  upon  each  other 
till  they  were  compelled  to  fly,  leaving  more  than 
forty  killed  and  200  wounded  on  the  ground, 
together  with  two  standards.  Our  losses  were  only 
two  killed  and  fourteen  wounded,  one  most 
severely — Captain  George  Waterhouse,  of  the 
Bengal  Cavalry. 

The  next  event  was  an  explosion  at  the  Bala 
Hissar.  It  was  generally  understood  that  in  the 
magazine  there,  820,000  shot  and  shell  were  stored, 
a  great  number  of  Snider  rifles,  and  six  tons  of 
gunpowder,  or  250,000  pounds,  according  to 
General  Roberts^s  report 

About  two  p.m.  on  the  i6th  of  October,  a  deep 
and  heavy  roar  rang  through  the  citadel,  and  there 
was  seen  a  startling  sight  A  dense  and  mighty 
column  of  dark  smoke  suddenly  shot  skyward, 
rising  in  what  looked  like  a  solid  mass  for  more 
than  2,000  feet,  after  which  it  suddenly  ex- 
panded and  "  spread  out  at  the  top  like  a  gigantic 
dark  grey  palm-tree,  and  remained  in  this  shape,  a 
heavy  opaque  mass  of  the. thickest  smoke,  for  fully 
sixty  seconds." 

During  that  time  it  appeared  to  be  quite  un- 
affected by  the  explosions  of  live  shell  and  boxes  of 
cartridges,  or  by  the  showers  of  stones,  beams,  and 
debris  that  swept  through  it  At  last  the  wind 
slowly  rolled  the  column  of  smoke  away,  and  then 
the  red  flames  were  seen,  as  they  had  got  an  entire 
hold  of  the  magazine,  where  for  twelve  consecutive 
hours  incessant  explosions  continued. 

It  was  now  found  that  Captain  Edward  Dun- 
combe  Shaftoe,  R.A.,  the  Commissary  of  Ord- 
nance, who  had  been  on  duty  in  the  arsenal,  three 
native  officers,  including  the  subadar  major,  of  the 
5th  Ghoorkas,  who  had  been  counting  pay  for  their 
men  in  an  adjacent  verandah,  one  of  the  67  th 
Foot,  and  several  native  soldiers,  had  perished  in 
the  explosion. 

The  67th  were  encamped  in  a  garden  of  the  Bala 

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Hissar,  and  thus  narrowly  escaped  annihilation,  so 
by  order  of  General  Roberts  they  were  at  once 
removed  to  the  general  camp  on  the  Siah  Sang 
range.  He  also  reported  to  Simla  that  there  was 
"no  reason  to  suppose  the  explosion  occurred 
except  by  accident    Powder  and  ammunition  were 

Highlanders,  though  the  kilt  is  usually  deemed  a 
preservative  costume  against  that  scourge. 

It  was  considered  remarkable  that  though  six 
weeks  had  elapsed  since  the  fatal  3rd  of  Septem- 
ber, fire  was  found  to  be  smouldering  among  the 
charred  beams  and  bricks  of  the  Residency.  There, 


lying  all  about  Every  precaution  had  been  taken 
— the  gates  shut,  a  guard  posted,  and  no  one 
admitted  save  on  business ;  endeavours  were  being 
made  to  check  the  progress  of  the  fire  and  pre- 
vent the  explosion  of  the  larger  magazine,  which 
would  be  the  cause  of  great  damage  to  life  and 
property  in  the  city." 

Though  snow  had  fallen  for  several  inches  in  the 
Hindoo  Koosh,  cholera  made  its  appearance 
among  the  European  troops  and  in  the  Gordon 

too,  lay  several  human  remains,  among  them  one 
skull  recognised  as  that  of  a  Sikh,  by  the  long 
black  hair  on  it 

On  the  27th,  the  Kotwal  of  Cabul,  and  four 
other  ruffians  who  had  aided  and  abetted  him  in 
the  attack  on  the  Residency,  after  being  duly  tried 
and  convicted,  were  brought  out  for  execution, 
under  a  guard  of  the  Gordon  Highlanders.  Solemn 
and  grim  though  the  procession  was,  "a  roar  of 
irresistible  laughter,"  we   are   told,  escaped    the 

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European  bystanders  on  seeing  in  it  thirty  camp- 
sweepers,  clad  in  the  jackets,  kilts,  and  drawers  of 
the  Ameer's  "  Highlanders,"  with  black  felt  helmets 
placed  over  their  turbans.  These  had  dug  a 
trench,  and  were  now  to  act  the  part  of  sextons. 
"The  Kotwal  was  dressed  in  a  velvet  skull-cap, 
a  vest  of  green  silk  (the  Mohammedan  colour),  and 
loose  white  trousers.  He  walked  firmly  up  the 
ladder,  and  tried  if  the  drop  were  secure  before 
stepping  upon  it.     He  was  then  blindfolded  and 

Residency,  inciting  people  to  rise,   treacherously 
firing  on  and  killing  wounded  soldiers." 

From  the  report  itself  it  appears  that  the  prin- 
cipal offence  of  many  of  those  executed,  was  that  of 
having  "  borne  arms  against  their  lawful  sovereign 
at  Charasiah."  Sir  Frederick  Roberts  justified 
capital  punishment  for  such  a  cause  on  the  ground 
of  the  repeated  statement  of  the  ex-Ameer,  when 
a  guest  and  ally  in  our  camp,  that  "  all  who  fought 
against  us  at  Charasiah  were  traitors  to  him." 

FORAGING   PARTY  OF  THE  67111  AITACKED  BY  THE  AFGHANS  (NOV.   9,    1879). 

pinioned,  which  put  a  stop  to  the  ceaseless  telling 
of  his  beads,  which  he  had  continued  up  to  that 
time.  The  rope  was  then  put  round  his  neck,  the 
provost-marshal  (an  officer  of  the  92nd)  dropped 
his  handkerchief,  and  the  wretch  went  to  answer 
for  his  crimes  before  a  higher  tribunal" 

General  Roberts's  "Report"  upon  the  actual 
number  of  executions  which  took  place  at  Cabul, 
was  as  follows: — Four  were  executed  for  dis- 
honouring the  bodies  of  the  officers  of  the  em- 
bassy; four  for  possessing  property  belonging  to 
it ;  six,  "  for  being  armed  within  five  miles  of  the 
camp ;"  four,  "  for  attacking  escorts,  in  view  (sic)  to 
releasing  prisoners ;"  and  sbcty-nine  for  "  murdering 
camp  followers,  participation  in  the  attack  on  the 

The  attitude  of  the  Ghilzies  was  still  question- 
able, and  almost  daily  alarming  accounts  reached 
General  Roberts  of  revolts,  ifpicuteSy  and  petty 
attacks,  which  proved  harassing  to  his  troops  else- 

In  the  last  days  of  October  a  strong  Taraki- 

Ghilzie  force,  supposed  to  be  3,000  at  least,  as- 

j  sembled   at  Shahjui,  in  the  vicinity  of  Khelat-i- 

j  Ghilzie,  intending  to  attack  the  garrison  of  General 

Hughes,   while    a    portion  of  them  were  to  be 

engaged  in  plundering  some  approaching  convoys. 

They  were  led  by  Sahib  Jan,.a  notorious  moun- 
tain freebooter ;  of  the  men,  500  were  cavalry. 

General  Hughes,  hearing  of  their  approach,  de- 
tached a  reconnaissance  in  force,  under  Colonel 

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T.  G.  Kennedy,  2nd  Punjaub  Cavalry,  early  in  the 
morning  of  the  24th,  towards  Shahjui,  to  antici- 
pate the  approach  of  Sahib  Jan.  The  colonel 
came  suddenly  upon  a  force  of  900  of  the  Ghilzies, 
through  whom  he  charged,  sword  in  hand,  at 
furious  speed,  and  cut  down  their  leader  and  forty- 
one  men. 

Colonel  Kennedy's  entire  force  consisted  of  three 
Royal  Artillery  guns,  the  2nd  Punjaub  Cavalry, 
and  detachments  from  the  59th  Foot  and  2nd 

The  cavalry  engagement  was  a  well-contested 
and  hand-to-hand  affair;  and  the  Ghilzie  horse 
were  put  to  flight,  while  a  body  of  their  infantry 
was  most  gallantly  dislodged  from  a  strong  position, 
with  the  bayonet,  by  the  party  of  the  59th  Foot, 
under  Captain  Euston  H.  Sartorius,  who  was 
wounded,  as  were  Captain  Broome  (squadron 
officer)  and  twenty-four  of  his  Punjaubees,  while 
only  two  privates  were  killed. 

Here  it  was  that  Sartorius  won  the  V.C,  for 
conspicuous  bravery  at  Shahjui,  in  leading  a  party 
of  five  or  six  men  of  the  59th  Foot  "against  a 
body  of  the  enemy  of  unknown  strength,  occupying 
an  almost  inaccessible  position  on  the  top  of  a 
precipitous  hilL  The  nature  of  the  ground  made 
any  sort  of  regular  formation  impossible,  and 
Captain  Sartorius  had  to  bear  the  first  brunt  of  the 
attack  from  the  whole  body  of  the  enemy,  who 
fell  upon  him  and  his  men  as  they  gained  the  top 
of  the  precipitous  pathway."  His  bravery  attained 
complete  success,  and  the  occupants  of  the  hill  top 
were  all  slain.  In  this  encounter  Captain  Sar- 
torius was  wounded  by  sword-cuts  in  both  hands, 
and  had  one  of  his  men  slain. 

"There  have  been  great  rejoicings  throughout 
the  division  since  the  beginning  of  this  month," 
says  a  correspondent,  "owing  to  the  capture,  on 
October  30,  of  a  large  quantity  of  treasure  outside 
the  city.  On  that  day,  Captain  Kellie  M*Callum 
marched  down  with  200  men  of  the  92nd  High- 
landers, and,  guided  by  a  political  officer,  surrounded 
a  building  said  to  contain  a  vast  amount  of  treasure. 
A  search  was  made,  and  soon  a  couple  of  rooms 
were  found  piled  up  with  boxes ;  these,  on  being 
opened,  were  found  to  contain  all  sorts  of  miscel- 
laneous articles,  from  soap  to  brilliants  and  gold, 
besides  beautiful  china,  silks,  satins,  and  costly 
furs,  handsome  guns,  swords,  and  pistols.  By 
dusk  Captain  M*Callum  and  the  officers  with  him 
had  secured  and  loaded  on  pack  animals,  expressly 
brought  for  the  purpose,  over  nine  lacs'  worth  of 
treasure,  most  of  it  in  tillahs,  the  gold  coin  of  the 
country.  ;^9o,ooo  at  one  haul  is  not  bad,  but 
darkness  compelled  these  officers  to    leave  any 

number  of  boxes  unsearched  on  the  premises; 
these  boxes  are  also  supposed  to  contain  quantities 
of  loot  So  the  doors  were  carefully  locked,  and 
the  political  officers  placed  seals  on  them.  A 
handsome  star,  part  of  the  order  of  the  Medjidieh, 
encrusted  with  brilliants,  with  a  centre  of  large 
emeralds,  formed  part  of  the  capture." 

A  correspondent  who  spent  a  fortnight  with 
Macpherson's  Flying  Column  in  the  Khoord 
Cabul,  and  other  defiles,  says  that  reconnaissances 
were  made  there  on  the  7th  November,  and 
that  the  troops  marched  down  that  savage  valley 
from  the  tomb  of  Baba  Issah  to  the  banks  of  the 
Cabul  River.  On  the  8th  it  was  crossed  by  a  ford, 
waist-belt  deep,  and  fi'om  thence  a  hitherto  un- 
known route  was  explored  towards  Jellalabad,  the 
tents  being  left  behind,  and  bivouacs  being  made 
on  the  left  bank  of  the  stream. 

On  the  9th,  as  flour  ran  short,  all  the  adjacent 
mills  were  seized,  and  meat  diet  was  issued  to  the 
native  troops. 

The  villagers  resenting  all  this,  attacked  a  com- 
pany of  the  67  th  Hampshire,  consisting  of  only 
twenty-eight  rank  and  file,  under  Captain  Arthur  J. 
Poole  (an  officer  who  had  served  against  the  Taeping 
rebels  in  China),  and  lieutenant  Carnegie,  who 
had  been  foraging  four  miles  from  camp. 

Overwhelmed  by  numbers,  the  slender  company 
had  to  retreat,  leaving  three  of  their  force 
behind.  One  who  was  wounded  in  the  hip  had  to 
be  abandoned,  and  was  dreadfully  mutilated  before 
death.  His  companion,  seeing  this,  flung-  himself 
into  the  Cabul  to  avoid  a  similar  fate,  and  perished 
miserably,  despite  the  efforts  of  Captain  Poole  and 
others  to  save  him. 

Poole  and  five  privates  were  wounded.  Facing 
about,  for  two  hours  this  little  band  had  to  hold 
their  own,  till  support  came  up,  and  the  enemy 
fled,  but  only  eight  dead  were  found. 

Next  day  the  troops  returned  to  Baba  Issah,  and 
from  thence  to  the  Lutaband  Pass,  near  Cabul, 
where  by  this  time  some  sixty  Afghans  had  been 
hanged  for  complicity  in  the  late  revolt  The 
bodies  of  all  were  interred  near  the  gallows — nol 

The  barracks  of  the  Ameer's  late  army  in  the 
Sherpur  cantonments  had  been  completely  cleaned 
out,  and  were  now  fitted  with  doors  and  windows 
for  the  occupation  of  European  troops. 

On  the  nth  November  an  amnesty  was  granted 
to  all  who  had  merely  fought  against  the  British 
troops,  on  condition  that  they  gave  up  their  arms 
and  returned  to  their  homes. 

The  abdication  of  the  Ameer  now  somewhat 
altered  the  features  of  our  presence  in  his  territorj'; 

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and  by  order  of  the  Viceroy,  General  Roberts  issued 
a  proclamation  to  the  effect  that,  in  consequence  of 
that  event,  and  of  the  outrage  at  the  British  Em- 
bassy, the  British  Government  were  now  compelled 
to  occupy  Cabul  and  other  parts  of  Afghanistan, 
and  he  invited  the  Afghan  authorities,  chiefs,  and 
sirdars  to  assist  him  to  enforce  order  in  the  districts 
under  their  control,  and  to  consult  with  him  con- 

The  population  of  the  occupied  districts  would, 
it  was  added,  be  treated  with  justice  and  be- 
nevolence; their  religion  and  customs  would  be 
respected,  and  loyalty  and  good  service  to  the 
British  crown  would  be  suitably  rewarded  On  the 
other  hand,  all  offenders  against  the  new  adminis- 
tration would  be  severely  punished. 

The  proclamation  concluded  by  stating  that  the 
arrangements  for  the  permanent  government  of  the 
country  would  be  made  after  due  consultation  with 
the  sirdars,  tribal  chiefs,  and  representatives  of  the 
principal  provinces. 

But  the  stormy  and  sturdy  Afghan  mountaineers 
failed  to  see  that  they  owed  either  "  loyalty  or  good 
service"  to  the  British  crown.  Matters  grew 
darker,  and  Roberts,  had  to  double  the  guard  of 
**  honour  ^  over  the  Ameer,  as  it  became  known 
that  he  meant  to  escape  if  he  could 

In  this  month  Lieutenant  F.  G.  Kinloch,  of 
the  Bengal  Staff  Corps,  was  murdered  by  Orakzai 
marauders  en  route  to  join  his  regiment,  the  12th 
Bengal  Cavalry,  at  Kushl  He  was  a  son  of  Colonel 
Grant  Kinloch,  of  Logic,  near  Kirriemuir  in  Scot- 
land He  was  a  young  officer  of  exceptional  promi- 
nence and  ability.  He  entered  the  92nd  Gordon 
Highlanders  on  the  28th  of  February,  1874,  and 
two  years  later  joined  the  5  th  Bengal  Cavalry 
as  a  probationer  for  the  staff  corps.  He  soon 
became  officiating  adjutant  of  the  regiment,  but 
resigned  his  post  in  order  to  see  active  service, 
and  it  was  while  pushing  up  to  join  Sir  F.  Roberts's 
advance  brigade  that  he  met  with  a  soldier's  death, 
lieutenant  Kinloch  had  passed  many  professional 
examinations  with  great  credit,  having  gained  an 
extra  first-class  certificate  of  the  School  of  Musketry 
at  Hythe,  and  been  specially  mentioned  for  pro- 
ficiency in  military  law,  surveying,  and  fortification, 
at  the  garrison  course  in  India. 

A  detachment  of  troops  was  sent  to  avenge  him, 
and  did  so  effectively,  under  General  Tytler. 

On  the  2 1  St  of  November  General  Baker  marched 
out  of  the  ^herpur  cantonments  with  a  brigade  to 
Maidan,  about  twenty-three  miles  down  the  Ghazni 
road,  for  the  double  purpose  of  collecting  forage 
and  unearthing  some  Afghan  troops,  who  were 
known  to  be  hiding  in  the  district,  after  having 
borne  a  part  in  the  recent  massacre. 

His  force  consisted  of  two  Royal  Artillery  guns, 
a  squadron  of  the  9th  Lancers,  two  of  Native 
Cavalry,  500  Gordon  Highlanders,  and  400  Native 
Infantry,  all  of  whom  covered  the  distance  in  two 
marches ;  and  on  the  22  nd  they  were  joined  by 
General  Roberts,  who  was  an  indefatigable  horse- 
man, and  lost  no  opportunity  of  exploring  and 
reconnoitring;  thus  he  remained  till  the  25th  a 
spectator  of  the  operations  of  General  Baker. 

On  the  23rd  the  cavalry  were  sent  eight  miles 
towards  the  Bamian  road,  for  the  purpose  of  arrest- 
ing a  certain  Bahadur  Khan,  chief  of  a  district 
and  walled  village,  whom  the  general  wished  to  call 
to  account  for  his  contumacious  conduct  in  refusing 
to  sell  forage  on  payment,  or  to  come  into  camp 
and  pay  his  respects. 

Old  Bahadiu:  Khan,  however,  had  not  as  yet 
seen  his  way  to  comply  with  eitlier  request  His 
village  was  situated  at  a  bend  of  the  road  at  the 
foot  of  some  green  hills,  which  partly  encircled  it 
The  cavalry  approached  in  extended  order,  and 
with  great  precaution,  till  within  200  yards  of  the 
boundary  wall,  when  fire  flashed  from  its  loop- 
holes as  the  long  musket  barrels  were  levelled 
through  them,  and  then  the  village  and  the  hill- 
sides became  alive  at  once  with  armed  men,  who 
fired  hotly  on  the  cavalry,  till  the  latter  got  out  of 
range,  but  with  the  loss  of  three  horses.  As  matters 
looked  a  trifle  serious  a  messenger  was  sent  back 
to  camp  for  orders. 

As  the  position  was  reported  to  be  a  strong  one, 
and  the  hill-men  were  said  to  be  in  force.  Baker 
resolved  to  attack  next  day  about  dawn ;  but  all 
were  found  to  have  departed  So  to  punish  Bahadur 
Khan,  the  whole  day  was  spent  in  burning 
every  village  belonging  to  him;  and  thus  nine 
were  flaming  at  once  within  their  fortified  walls 
as  the  troops  marched  back  to  the  Ghazni  road 

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On  the  8th  of  December,  in  a  season  when  the 
weather  is  bitterly  cold  there,  when  hoar-frost  covers 
the  ground,  and  the  prevailing  north  wind — the 
wind  of  Perwan,  as  it  is  called — is  keenest  in  the 
plain  of  Cabul,  two  squadrons  of  the  14th  Bengal 
Lancers,  a  corps  composed  almost  entirely  of  Jits 
— a  race  whom  Tod,  in  his  "  History  of  Rajahstan,** 
says  are  descended  from  the  ancient  GetcB,  or  Jutes — 
was  ordered  to  the  westward  of  Cabul,  with  orders 
to  take  post  near  a  place  called  Huft  Shuhr, 
tidings  having  come  of  a  threatened  advance  of 
Kohistanees  from  that  quarter.  The  Lancers  were 
attached  to  General  Macpherson's  brigade,  which 
was  ordered  to  take  the  road  to  Argandeh,  and 
there  await  the  approach  of  the  enemy.  The  brigade 
then  consisted  of  three  squadrons  of  cavalry,  six 
companies  of  Her  Majesty's  67th  Regiment,  3rd 
Sikh  Infantry,  5th  Ghoorkas,  and  four  pieces  of 

The  following  morning  saw  a  force  depart  from 
the  cantonments  of  Sherpur  for  the  purpose  of 
cutting  off  the  enemy's  retreat  after  being  attacked 
by  Macphersoa  It  was  led  by  General  Baker,  and 
consisted  of  450  Gordon  Highlanders,  450  of  the 
Sth  Punjaub  Infantry,  25  Sappers,  two  squadrons 
and  a  troop  of  the  5th  Punjaub  Cavalry,  and  four 
pieces  of  cannon.  He  took  the  Chardeh  route. 
Next  day,  loth  of  December,  the  fighting  began, 
and  for  nearly  fourteen  days  after  there  was  little 
rest  for  the  troops. 

For  these  movements  some  explanation  is  neces- 

At  the  time  that  Sahib  (or,  as  he  was  sometimes 
called,  Mohammed)  Jan  was  making  his  futile  attempt 
at  Shahjui,  General  Roberts  was  endeavouring  to 
open  up  communications  with  General  Bright 
through  the  passes  of  Khoord  Cabul,  and  Jugdulluk 
— a  movement  which  Sahib  Jan  was  bent  on  frus- 
trating. And  though  disturbing  rumours  now  said 
that  Yakoub  Khan's  levies  in  Turkistan  were 
mustering  again,  that  a  force  of  Turkomans,  under 
Russian  leaders,  was  marching  on  Herat,  and  that 
Mir  Afzul  Khan,  the  Governor  of  Funah,  was 
unpopular,  and  creating  troubles  in  that  quarter. 
General  Roberts  kept  his  eyes  chiefly  on  the  mal- 
contents of  Ghazni  and  Kohistan. 

And  now  the  two  brigades  we  have  detailed 
marched,  because  Sahib  Jan  was  reported  to  be  at 

the  head  of  the  Kohistanees  and  others,  approaching 
CabuL  The  Sahib  was  undoubtedly  a  dangerous 
adversary.  A  thorough  freebooter,  he  had  all  the 
audacity  of  a  guerilla  chief,  with  the  real  or  pre- 
tended sanctity  of  a  mollah.  He  had  gone  into 
Afghanistan  ostensibly  to  collect  an  army  to  assist 
the  British ;  but  when  he  did  muster  his  selected 
men,  it  was  under  the  green  standard  of  Islam,  and 
for  the  recapture  of  Cabul. 

Another  man  of  the  same  character,  named 
Asmuloollah,  had  meanwhile  been  collecting 
another  force  in  the  wild  fastnesses  of  Kohistan, 
and  sought  to  effect  a  junction  with  his  compatriot 
But  General  Roberts's  scouting  had  been  for  too 
efficient  for  this  to  be  managed  without  his  know- 
ledge, hence  the  movements  referred  ta  Unfor- 
tunately, the  first  feature  in  them  was  a  defeat 

On  the  morning  of  the  nth  of  December,  at 
an  early  hour.  General  Massey,  who  was  at  Killa 
Owshar,  with  four  Royal  Horse  Artillery  guns,  two 
squadrons  of  the  9th  Lancers,  and  one  of  the  14th 
Bengal  Lancers,  was  ordered  to  march  at  nine 
o'clock  a.m.,  and  join  General  Macpherson  on  the 
Ghazni  road.  Killa  Owshar  is  near  the  foot  of 
the  small  kotal  of  the  same  name,  over  which  the 
Argandeh  road  runs,  and  is  on  the  northern  edge  of 
the  Chardeh  Valley. 

To  understand  clearly  the  fight  that  ensued,  the 
reader  must  bear  in  mind  the  topography  in  the 
vicinity  of  Cabul  Under  General  Roberts  our 
troops  were  encamped  at  Sherpur,  on  a  plain  to 
the  east  of  the  city,  while  Macpherson's  brigade 
occupied  the  Chardeh  Valley  to  the  west  of  it  On 
the  north  and  south  of  Cabul  rise  strongly-fortified 
hills  which  overlook  it,  but  break  away  farther  into 
a  series  of  spurs,  that  are  neither  fortified  nor,  in 
a  strategic  sense,  very  important 

The  enemy  advanced  from  the  southward,  and 
should  have  been  met  beyond  the  spurs  in  that 
direction  by  Massey's  cavalry  and  Macpherson's 
infantry  together;  but  the  combined  attack  mis- 
carried, as  the  former  came  into  action  unsupported, 
and  were  driven  back.  "This  would  have  laid 
open  to  the  enemy  the  defile  which  leads  to  the 
plain  before  Cabul,  and  exposed,  therefore,  to  a 
rush,  the  city  itself;  but  the  72nd  stopped  the  way, 
and  Sahib  Jan's  men,  failing  to  make  any  impres- 
sion on   the   path-keeping   Highlanders,   tried   to 

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•rush'  the  city  on  the  other  side,  and  fell  across 
Macpherson's  brigade  moving  round  from  Chardeh 
upon  them." 

The  valley  through  which  Masse/s  cavalry  pro- 
ceeded at  first  was  intersected  in  every  direction  by 
innumerable  watercourses  for  the  purpose  of  irriga- 
tion, and  many  of  these  were  bordered  by  lofty 
poplars,  that  grew  so  closely  together  that  no  horse 
could  pass  between  them,  while  many  parts  of  the 
open  ground  were  so  swampy  as  to  be  impassable 
by  horse  and  man  alike 

It  was  when  nearing  Killa  Kazi,  on  the  Ghazni 
road,  that  on  thb  morning  a  Victoria  Cross  was 
won  by  the  Rev.  J.  W.  Adams,  of  the  Bengal 
Ecclesiastical  Establishment,  then  a  chaplain  to 
the  Cabul  Field  Force.  Some  men  of  the  9th 
Lancers,  having  fallen  with  their  horses  into  a  wide 
and  deep  ditch,  when  the  enemy  was  close  upon 
them,  Mr.  Adams  rushed  into  the  water  which 
filled  it,  dragged  the  horses  from  above  the  men  on 
whom  they  lay,  and  extricated  them  all,  he  being 
at  that  time  under  a  heavy  fire  and  up  to  his  waist 
in  water.  At  that  time  the  Afghans  were  rapidly 
pushing  on,  their  leading  men  getting  within  a  few 
yards  of  the  gallant  and  devoted  chaplain,  who, 
having  let  go  his  horse  to  render  effectual  assistance, 
had  to  make  his  escape  on  foot,  which,  providen- 
tially, he  succeeded  in  accomplishing. 

By  this  time  it  had  become  apparent  that  not  only 
were  the  Kohistanees  approaching  firom  the  west 
and  north-west,  but  also  that  a  totally  distinct  force 
was  coming  from  the  direction  of  Ghazni,  on  the 
south,  over  ground  that  in  the  season  is  a  mass  of 
smiling  vegetation,  when  grapes  and  pomegranates, 
apples  and  quinces,  almonds  and  walnuts,  all  grow 
together  in  abundance. 

The  last-named  column  had  in  its  front  an  open 
road  to  the  city,  held  by  420  men ;  all  were  at 
Massey's  disposal  The  enemy  attacked  ,him  with 
great  force  and  fury  in  ground  most  difficult  for 
cavalry  to  act  All  fought  valiantly,  but  none  more 
so  than  Captain  Neville's  squadron  of  the  14th, 
which  numbered  only  forty-four  lances  all  told 
Lieutenant  Forbes,  of  the  latter,  who  had  his  horse 
shot  under  him  and  was  wounded  in  the  leg  amid 
the  wild  meltey  was  assisted  to  a  seat  on  one  of  the 
guns  by  Captain  Neville  and  Captain  Chisholm,  of 
the  9th  Lancers.  He  was  then  left  with  Lieutenant 
Hardy,  of  the  Artillery,  who  seated  him  on  a 

In  retiring,  the  guns  took  a  wrong  turning. 
Roberts's  report  states  that  they  were  "  upset  and 
temporarily  abandoned,"  and  during  the  delay  the 
enemy  swarmed  down  upon  them  in  vast  hordes. 
The  cavalry  gave  way ;  the  drivers  cut  the  traces 

of  the  guns,  and  called  upon  Hardy  to  gallop  away 
with  them. 

"No;  I  cannot  desert  my  guns,"  he  replied 
gallantly ;  "  nor  can  I  desert  that  poor  youngster," 
alluding  to  the  helpless  Forbes ;  so  they  were  cut 
to  pieces,  together  with  Hearsey  and  Ricardo,  of 
the  9th  Lancers,  fighting  to  the  last;  for  these 
officers  were  "the  beau  ideal  of  young  English 
manhood — frank,  generous,  outspoken,  and  fear- 
less— ^the  men  who  can  do  and  die  when  the  need 

And  the  need  had  come  ! 

The  guns  were  now  in  the  hands  of  the  enemy, 
who  overturned  them  into  some  pits  that  opened 
by  the  wayside,  and  then  followed  up  the  slowly 
retreating  cavalry,  who  successfully  held  them  in 
check,  till  they  rushed  away  to  the  right,  and 
through  orchards  and  plantations  made  their  way 
to  the  summit  of  the  Takt-i-Shah  (/>.,  "the 
Emperor's  Throne")  from  whence  they  could 
command  the  Bala  Hissar,  then  held  by  a  solitary 
picket  of  our  infantry. 

In  this  affair  we  had  eighteen  killed,  including 
four  officers,  and  twenty-five  wounded,  including 
Stewart  Clelland  and  Stewart  Mackenzie,  of  the 
9th  Lancers,  and  Cook,  of  the  3rd  Sikhs.  The 
guns  were  subsequently  retaken  by  the  Ghoorkas, 
under  Macgregor,  on  the  arrival  of  Macpherson's 

Major  Mitford,  of  the  Bengal  Lancers,  was  sent 
with  a  party  to  bring  in  the  bodies  of  the  dead,  but 
found  them  so  gashed  and  mutilated  that  it  was 
impossible  to  put  them  across  empty  saddles,  so  he 
had  to  leave  them  where  they  lay. 

He  records  in  his  picturesque  narrative  that,  save 
the  light  of  the  stars,  it  was  dark  when  he  got  back 
to  quarters,  after  some  narrow  escapes  from  death. 

"At  this  time  the  stars  were  shining  most 
brilliantly.  Orion's  belt,  I  believe,  stood  just 
above  the  highest  peak  of  the  Takt-i-Shah  like  a 
brilliant  fiery  cross.  I  heard  the  men  behind 
me  [his  Jits]  talking  earnestly,  and,  turning  in 
my  saddle,  I  saw  one  of  them  pointing  to  this 
collection  of  stars,  saying  something  at  the  same 
time  of  which  I  could  only  catch  the  words  sahib 
and  nishan  (*  ensign  '  or  '  badge  ').  On  asking 
what  they  were  talking  about,  a  native  officer  rode 
up  and  said  they  had  all  come  to  the  conclusion 
that  the  appearance  of  this  nishan  was  super- 
natural, and  foreshadowed  the  victory  of  our  arms 
in  all  future  struggles  with  the  Afghans." 

Meanwhile  reinforcements  had  been  called  in 
from  the  Lutaband  camp,  some  miles  fi-om  Cabul, 
and  the  corps  of  Guides,  one  of  the  crack  Indian 
regiments,  reached  the  camp  at  Sherpur. 

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During  the   12th,   General  Roberts  had  been 
unable  to  communicate,  even  by  heliograph,  with 

and  firing  was  resumed  even  in  CabuL    Thus  an 
officer  of  the  72  nd  Highlanders,  who  had  fallen 


General  Baker's  brigade,  and  during  the  entire  day 
a  skirmishing  infantry  fire  was  kept  up  without 
cessation  on    the  holders  of  the  Takt-i-Shah  hill, 

wounded,  and  was  being  brought  into  cantonments  in 
a  litter,  was  fired  on  from  the  house-tops,  and  shot 
through  the  eyes,  losing  the  sight  of  one  entirely. 

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General  Roberts  had  evidently  for  some  time 
previously  been  preparing  for  the  arrival  of  Sahib 
Jan*s  force,  and  the  preliminary  skirmishes  that 
had  taken  place  at  various  points  showed  how 
extensive  was  the  tribal  combination  against  us. 
Yet  all  fell  out  as  the  general  anticipated,  excejH 
the  misfortune  that  befell  Massey's  slender  column 
of  cavalry. 

General  Macpherson  by  his  subsequent  advance 
retrieved  that  accident,  repulsed  with  his  High- 
landers the  enemy*s  movements  towards  Cabul, 
and  compelled  them  to  ascend  the  Takt-i-Shah, 
where  General  Baker  blocked  them  up  or  held 
them  at  bay. 

Macpherson  had  held  a  high  point  above  the 
Bala  Hissar,  but  had  failed  to  dislodge  the  enemy 
from  a  lofty  peak,  where  their  position  was  strong 
and  kept  by  a  great  force. 

His  losses  on  the  13th  were  two  men  of  the  3rd 
Sikhs  killed;  Lieutenant  Fergusson,  of  the  72nd, 
Major  Cook,  of  the  5  th  Ghoorkas,  and  Lieutenant 
Fasked,  of  the  3rd  Sikhs,  wounded.  On  that  day 
Baker's  brigade  made  a  combined  attack  upon 
the  enemy.  It  was  led  by  the  Gordon  Highlanders, 
with  dashing  bravery,  under  Major  White;  Lieu- 
tenant St.  John  Forbes  was  killed,  together  with 
his  colour-sergeant,  Drummond,  in  a  hand-to-hand 
fight — claymores  opposed  to  tulwars.  The  Guide 
Cavahy  made  a  brilliant  charge,  under  Major  G. 
Stewart,  as  did  the  9th  Lancers,  under  Captain  S. 
Gould  Butson,  who  was  killed,  while  Captain 
Scott  Chisholm  and  Lieutenant  C  W.  Trower  fell 
wounded.  The  details  given  of  these  events  are 
most  meagre;  but  the  entire  British  loss  during 
these  weary  and  exciting  days  was  forty- three  killed, 
of  whom  six  were  officers,  and  seventy-six  wounded, 
of  whom  ten  were  officers. 

On  the  13th  of  December  the  Victoria  Cross 
was  won  by  Lieutenant  W.  H.  Dick  Cunyngham, 
of  the  Gordon  Highlanders,  for  conspicuous 
bravery  and  coolness  in  the  Sherpur  Pass,  in 
having  exposed  himself  to  the  full  fire  of  the 
Afghans  and,  by  his  example  and  encouragement, 
rallied  the  men,  who  were  beaten  back,  and  had 
been  wavering  at  the  summit  of  the  hilL 

Major  Cook,  V.C,  of  the  5th  Ghoorkas,  died  of 
his  wound,  and  a  monument  was  erected  to  his 
memory  in  the  Collegiate  Church  of  his  native 
place,  St  Andrews,  Fifeshire,  in  the  following 

Shortly  after  daylight  on  the  14th  of  Decem- 
ber, large  bodies  of  the  enemy,  arrayed  under 
standards,  were  unexpectedly  seen  hovering  again 
on  the  heights  of  Asmai,  and  at  nine  a.m.  the 
cavalry,  taking  a  route  parallel  to  them,  approached 

Owshar  Kotal,  and  halted  in  the  open  plact 
between  it  and  the  Begum's  Lake.  Some  Afghai 
cavalry  ai)peared  here,  one  of  them  reconnoitring 
ours  through  a  field-glass.  He  then  fired  a  shot, 
to  which  two  officers  responded  with  the  rifles  of 
their  orderlies,  and  for  some  time  a  useless  duel 
was  maintained,  while  some  of  our  infantry,  with 
mountain  guns,  moved  steadily  along  the  heights 
to  meet  the  Kohistanees,  who  were  swarming  along 
them  from  the  west  towards  Cabul. 

The  main  body  of  Baker's  brigade  had  now 
taken  post  at  the  ruined  village  of  Biland  Kheyl, 
which  faces  a  break  in  the  heights  round  Jhe 
AUabad  Kotal.  This  pass  he  had  seized  to  cut  in 
two  the  enemy's  force  on  the  heights,  and  fi-om  it  an 
excellent  view  of  the  crest  and  the  entire  northern 
side  could  be  obtained  On  each  side  of  this 
kotal  the  barren  hills  of  rocky  shale  rose  up  for 
many  hundred  feet  in  altitude,  with  many  trees 
about  their  base — poplars  and  mountain  pines,  the 
j'elgoozeh,  remarkable  for  cones  larger  than  arti- 
chokes, with  seeds  resembling  pistachio  nuts. 

The  pass  was  now  armed  by  four  mountain  guns, 
under  Lieutenant  Montanaro,  and  some  slender 
detachments  of  infantry. 

The  entire  force  under  Baker  was  ridiculously 
small  to  be  termed  a  brigade.  It  consisted  of  the 
14th  Bengal  Lancers,  300  strong;  72nd  High- 
landers, 200;  Gordon  Highlanders,  100;  Guides 
Infantry,  450 ;  5th  Punjaub  Infantry,  470 ;  with 
four  pieces  of  cannon ;  in  all,  with  gunners,  only 
1,600  men  of  all  arms. 

Montanaro*s  guns  were  firing  at  a  body  of  the 
enemy,  who  were  retiring  eastward  of  the  kotal, 
driven  back  in  their  attempt  to  reach  the  city  by 
some  of  our  troops  (who  manned  the  height  round 
Deh  Mozung),  and  leaving  a  long  train  of  killed 
and  wounded  wretches  behind  them,  many  of  whom 
were  frightfully  torn  and  lacerated  by  shell  splinters. 
Montanaro's  guns  next  proceeded  to  shell  a  square 
fort  1,600  yards  distant,  occupied  by  Afghan  horse- 
men. From  his  elevated  position  on  the  kotal  he 
was  able  to  let  shell  after  shell  drop  plump  into  the 
enclosure — a  process  that  proved  so  unpleasant  to 
the  occupants  that  they  dashed  out,  and  galloped 
westward  at  full  speed 

Bodies  of  the  enemy  were  now  perceived  ad- 
vancing in  two  directions — one  through  the  village 
of  Indiki,  in  the  direction  of  the  Logar  Valley, 
and  the  other  from  the  Kohistan  road  on  the  west 
The  latter  came  rapidly  on,  as  if  to  attack  the 
mountain  guns  of  Montanaro,  and  their  advance 
was  a  very  exciting  one,  as  it  was  marked  by  the 
waving  of  many  coloured  silken  standards,  the 
flashing  of  steel  blades,  and  many  a  white  pufl"  from 

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their  rifles  and  matchlock  juzails  ;  while  ever  and 
anon  a  leader  would  rush  out,  gesticulating  violently 
and  brandishing  his  sword. 

At  their  head  rode  a  man  on  a  chestnut  horse, 
bravely  caparisoned,  surrounded  by  many  mollahs 
in  their  floating  snow-white  vestments,  who  gave  the 
signal  for  the  war-cry  of  Islam,  which  was  taken  up 
by  thousands  of  voices  with  frantic  fervour  till  rock, 
mountain,  and  wood  re-echoed  again  with  "y4 
Allah!''  ''Va  Allah!''  ''Yd  Allah!" 

But  steadily  and  bravely,  at  a  rapid  double  along 
'  the  ridge  on  the  east,  came  the  war-worn  72  nd 
Highlanders,  with  a  few  Sikh  Infantry,  who,  having 
swept  their  immediate  antagonists  ofl*  the  heights, 
now  came  up  at  a  rush  to  save  the  cannon  from  the 

"On  they  came,"  says  Mitford,  "from  both 
sides,  but  the  mountaineers  had  easier  ground,  and 
perhaps  better  wind,  than  our  men,  and  came  first 
to  the  guns,  which  had  waited  a  moment  too  long. 
While  they  were  being  strapped  on  the  mules  a 
human  wave,  crested  with  foam  of  steel,  swept  over 
them,  and  the  gunners  had  to  run  for  their  lives. 
Some  of  the  72nd,  headed  by  Captain  Spens  and 
a  colour-sergeant,  tried  to  check  the  enemy,  but 
they  were  far  too  few,  and  their  gallant  leader  fell 
immediately,  his  head  severed  from  his  body  by 
the  stroke  of  an  Afghan  knife,  wielded  in  death 
agony  by  a  man  through  whose  body  Spens  had 
already  driven  his  claymore;  and  for  some  time 
the  enemy  were  in  possession  of  the  kotal  and  two 
of  our  guns." 

The  infantry  nearest  at  hand — the  Guides  and 
5th  Punjaubees — were  sent  up  by  General  Baker 
to  disloc^c  them ;  but  so  strong  was  the  position 
now  won,  and  so  overwhelming  the  force  of  the 
enemy,  that  these  corps  had  to  fall  back  with  loss. 
Nor  was  it  until  reinforcements  arrived  from  the 
camp  at  Sherpur  that  the  guns  were  recovered, 
and  escorted  by  the  14th  Bengal  Lancers  to  the 
cantonments.  Our  losses  on  the  14th  were  nineteen 
killed,  including  Captain  Spens  and  Lieutenant 
Gainsford,  of  the  72nd  Highlanders;  eighty-eight 
wounded,  including  Captain  Gordon,  of  the 
Gordon  Highlanders,  Captain  Battye,  of  the  Guides, 
and  Lieutenant  Egerton,  of  the  72nd. 

In  this  day's  fighting  two  Victoria  Crosses  were 
woa  The  first  by  Major  Arthur  George  Hammond, 
of  the  Bengal  Staff"  Corps,  for  defending  the  summit 
of  a  hill  with  rifle  and  fixed  bayonet  against  a  large 
number  of  the  enemy  while  the  troops  fell  back 
after  the  rush  at  Montanaro's  guns,  and  carrying 
off  in  his  arms  a  wounded  sepoy  within  sixty  yards 
of  the  enemy's  musketry. 

The  other  was  won  by  Corporal  George  Sellar, 

of  the  72nd  Highlanders,  "for  conspicuous  gal- 
lantry displayed  by  him  on  the  heights  of  Asmai," 
in  having  in  a  marked  manner,  under  a  heavy  fire, 
and  dashing  on  in  front  of  the  enemy,  "  engaged 
in  a  desperate  conflict  with  an  Afghan,  who  sprang 
out  to  meet  him.  In  this  encounter  Lance-Corporal 
Sellar  was  severely  wounded." 

General  Macpherson  now  signalled  from  the 
Bala  Hissar  that  great  and  increasing  masses  of  the 
enemy  were  advancing  from  the  north,  south,  and 
west ;  so  the  troops  were  ordered  to  retire  into  che 
cantonments  of  Sherpur,  where  they  were  shut  up, 
while  the  enemy  that  night  re-occupied  the  Bala 
Hissar  and  the  entire  city  of  Cabul ! 

The  enormous  abundance  of  arms  possessed  by 
the  Afghan  population  was  a  fact  worthy  of  attention 
at  the  time,  as  it  pointed  to  Shere  Ali's  prepara- 
tion for  and  expectation  of  hostilities.  Although 
by  this  time  we  had  captured  at  various  places 
nearly  200  pieces  of  cannon,  as  many  more 
were  scattered  through  the  country — at  Herat,  in 
the  northern  and  western  provinces,  and  else- 
where. Small  arms  of  all  kinds  we  had  captured 
by  thousands ;  and  after  many  regiments  had  been 
disarmed  there  still  remained  in  Afghanistan, 
according  to  the  Ameer's  "Arsenal  Returns," 
40,000  rifles,  chiefly  of  British  manufacture.  The 
ammunition  already  taken  or  destroyed,  had  been 
enormous  in  quantity ;  but,  as  compared  with  the 
stores  remaining  in  the  country,  was  quite  incon- 
siderable. "  These  facts,"  said  a  writer  at  the  time, 
"  while  proving  the  diflScult  task  that  lies  before 
us,  if  effectual  disarmament  is  to  be  carried  out, 
proved  also  that  the  Afghan  War  was  not  under- 
taken a  day  too  soon.  Had  the  soldiers  who  have 
just  been  beaten  at  all  points,  been  as  well  trained 
to  the  use  of  their  arms  as  they  are  brave,  our  loss, 
deplorable  as  it  is,  would  have  been  very  severe 
indeed;  for  the  country,  intersected  by  such  an 
immense  number  of  watercourses,  studded  with 
villages,  every  wall  in  which  is  loopholed,  and 
abounding  in  rocks  and  steep  hills,  is  singularly 
favourable  to  sharp-shooting  and  ambuscade." 

The  people  of  Cabul  now  freely  sympathised 
with  the  tribal  bands  who  occupied  it,  thereby 
forfeiting  their  claim  to  the  clemency  of  General 
Roberts ;  and  every  quarter  of  it  was  now  infested 
by  disbanded  vagabonds  of  the  Ameer's  late  army, 
deserters  from  the  provincial  forces,  refugees  from 
justice  in  India  and  Persia,  armed  swashbucklers 
of  the  genuine  Oriental  type,  steeped  to  the  lips  in 
cruelty  and  crime,  and  only  waiting  fresh  oppor- 
tunities for  pillage  and  slaughter. 

Thus  December  saw  the  whole  country  once 
more  aflame.    A  jehad  or  holy  war  was  preached; 

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the  Governor  of  Maidan,  whom  we  had  appointed, 
was  murdered,  and  the  army  of  General  Roberts 
was  seriously  menaced  and  imperilled  by  an  exten- 
sive rising  of  the  warlike  tribes. 

By  the  15th  of  December  he  estimated  the 
strength  of  the  enemy  at  30,000  men ;  he  reported 
that  he  was  confident  he  would  be  able  to  restore 
British  authority,  but  required  to  be  reinforced, 
and  with  this  view  he  ordered  Gough*s  force  up 
from  Gundamuk,  and  Arbuthnot*s  brigade  Trom 

Our  officers,  who  generally  carry  Britain  and  old 
British  sports  with  them  wherever  they  go,  had  now 
to  relinquish  what  they  had  actually  begun  for  a 
very  brief  period  to  enjoy,  after  the  capture  of 
Cabul — their  cricket  matches  and  football  in  the 
Shah  Bagh ;  and  the  officers  and  troopers  of  the 
Bengal  and  9th  Lancers  had  to  forego  their  polo  on 
yabooSy  or  Cabul  ponies,  on  the  plain  of  Behmaru  ; 
while  snipe-shooting  in  the  jheels  on  the  other  side 
of  the  city  had  come  to  an  abrupt  termination,  by 
the  sudden  influx  of  very  different  game ;  and  the 
Masonic  Lodge  which  had  been  established  by  the 
72nd  Highlanders,  had  no  more  meetings  now.  It 
was  called  the  Seaforth  Lodge,  and  Captain  Stewart 
Mackenzie  (9th  Lancers)  was  its  Master. 

The  fighting  men  of  the  mollahs'  army  then  at 
Cabul,  must  have  been  collected  by  these  priests 
from  over  a  very  large  tract  of  country,  so  sparsely 
populated  is  south-eastern  Afghanistan ;  and  it 
was  considered  as  certain  that  if  that  force  were 
shattered,  neither  Sahib  Jan  nor  Muskh-i-Alam 
would  be  able  to  collect  another,  should  they  preach 
over  the  land  from  Balkh  to  Candahar. 

By  loopholing,  entrenching,  and  barricading. 
General  Roberts  left  nothing  undone  to  strengthen 
the  post  held  by  his  slender  army  at  Sherpur,  and 
more  especially  on  its  face  towards  the  city.  The 
Behmaru  Hills,  to  the  north  of  his  position,  neces- 
sarily came  within  the  line  of  his  defences,  as  they 
overlooked  them  from  the  rear.  The  front  to  the 
city  was  formed  by  a  continuous  loop-holed  wall, 
about  2,000  yards  long  and  sixteen  feet  in 
height,  with  a  ditch  in  front,  and  a  banquette  for 
infantry.  In  rear  of  this  rampart,  on  the  left  flank 
of  which  was  a  mud  wall  extending  to  the  hamlet 
of  Deh  Behmaru,  was  a  range  of  excellent  bar- 
racks, about  a  mile  long,  capable  of  holding  5,000 
Europeans  comfortably. 

Spacious  gateways,  occurring  at  intervals  of  400 
yards,  had  been  converted  into  officers'  quarters. 
Detached  forts  covered  the  flanks.  It  was  borne 
in  mind  that  it  was  occupation  of  the  Behmaru 
heights  by  the  Afghans,  in  1842,  that  rendered  the 
position  of  Elphinstone's  army  quite  untenable,  on 

nearly  the  same  ground  which  Roberts  had  now 
rendered  almost  impregnable. 

For  several  days  now  severe  and  desultory  fight- 
ing ensued  all  round  Cabul,  and  by  the  15th  the 
losses  of  the  9th  Lancers  alone  were  reported  to  be 
equal  to  one  troop,  yet  nothing  very  decisive  oc- 
curred till  the  23rd  of  December. 

On  the  15  th  a  Victoria  Cross  was  won  by  Captain 
(afterwards  Major)  William  John  Vousden,  of  the 
Bengal  Staff  Corps,  for  exceptional  gallantry  dis- 
played by  him  on  that  day,  on  the  Koh  Asmai 
heights,  by  charging  with  a  small  party  into  the 
centre  of  the  retreating  Kohistanees,  by  whom  his 
men  were  greatly  outnumbered,  and  who  did  their 
utmost  to  enclose  and  cut  them  off. 

After  rapidly  charging  through  and  through  the 
enemy,  backwards  and  forwards  several  times, 
hewing  them  down  right  and  left,  they  swept  round 
to  the  opposite  side  of  a  village  and  regained  their 

The  force  shut  up  in  Sherpur  made  a  total  of 
only  7,000  men,  horse  and  foot,  with  twenty-three 
pieces  of  cannon,  including  two  Gatling  guns,  and 
five  months'  supplies  of  most  necessaries.  Roberts 
had  sagaciously  emptied  all  the  Cabul  granaries 
and  stores  on  his  own  behalf;  thus  the  great 
army  of  the  mollahs,  on  flocking  in,  found  only 

On  the  1 6th  a  patrol  of  cavalry  was  sent  out  to 
two  hills,  about  a  mile  or  more  west  of  Sherpur, 
with  orders  to  watch  carefully  the  Kohistan  road, 
and  report  all  movements  thereon,  as  armed  parties 
were  passing  continually  to  and  fh)  between  the  city 
and  the  mountain  gap  called  Owshar  KotaL 

The  moment  this  patrol  came  in  sight  the  enemy 
began  firing  from  the  Asmai  Range,  where  they 
were  ensconced ;  but  as  they  were  beyond  musket- 
shot  this  was  a  simple  waste  of  ammunition.  They 
had,  however,  no  fear  of  running  short,  as  the  con- 
tents of  the  other  magazine  at  the  Bala  Hissar  had, 
by  some  unaccountable  mistake,  not  been  taken  or 

The  enemy  in  large  bodies  now  left  the  cluster 
of  villages  in  which  they  had  been  passing  the 
night  at  the  foot  of  the  kotal,  and  began  to  form 
themselves  in  something  like  disciplined  order 
across  the  road  leading  to  the  pass,  till  the  whole 
range  from  the  latter  to  that  shoulder  of  the 
Asmai  heights  which  overhangs  the  city — a 
distance  of  three  miles — was  covered  by  them  ; 
a  line  that  bristled  with  flashing  steel,  while  along 
it,  at  intervals,  were  brilliantly-coloured  standards 
waving  in  the  wind  ;  but  a  heavy  fall  of  snow  pre- 
vented any  operations  of  consequence.  The  night 
proved  intensely  cold,  yet  the  work  of  barricading 

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with  sand-bags  went  on,  and  the  openings  or 
gateways  for  the  passage  of  troops  were  blocked 
up  with  gun  waggons  when  not  in  use ;  and  from 
the  13th  of  December  till  the  3rd  of  January  the 
troops  were  without  rations  of  rum,  the  only 
spirits  being  a  small  supply  of  whisky,  which  the 
Gordon  Highlanders  disbursed  to  all  comers  on 
Christmas  Day. 

During  the  whole  of  the  night  of  the  1 7th  our  sen- 
tries were  fired  at,  and  on  the  following  day,  when 
the  cold  dawn  stole  in,  strong  parties  of  sharp- 
shooters were  found  to  have  established  them- 
selves under  cover  of  certain  ruinous  walls,  which 
in  some  places  came  within  400  yards  of  the 
defences,  and  from  these  they  opened  a  fire  on 
any  man  who  showed  himself.  As  many  of 
them  shot  high,  in  ignorance  of  rifle  range,  they 
generally  failed  to  hit,  but  their  bullets,  after 
passing  over  the  walls,  fell  among  the  horses  and 
camp  followers  within  the  enclosure.  These  were 
removed  elsewhere  under  cover,  but  not  before 
some  shots  had  proved  fatal 

On  the  18th  there  was  a  report  that  scaling- 
ladders  had  been  seen  in  immense  numbers,  and 
that  the  enemy  were  prepared  to  storm  the  walls ; 
so  Roberts  manned  their  entire  length,  with 
supports  at  intervals  in  the  ditch,  and  all  men 
knew  that  if  once  that  tumultuous  and  outnumber- 
ing horde  got  in,  small  mercy  would  be  shown 
on  every  hand. 

All  the  Lancers  took  their  lances  with  them  to 
use  as  pikes  on  foot,  but  no  opportunity  was  given 
them,  as  the  enemy  never  came  on,  and  all  the 
troops  were  withdrawn  to  quarters  except  the 
sentries  (which  were  doubled  at  night) — one  to 
every  hundred  yards  of  wall 

Every  hour  was  harassing  and  demanded  watch- 
fulness; but  all  kept  their  posts  hopefully,  aware 
that  the  approach  of  Gough,  fi-om  Gundamuk 
(though  attacked  by  Ghilzies,  whom  he  drove  back), 
and  of  Arbu^hnot,  from  Jelhlabad,  would  bring 
about  a  crisis. 

In  some  desultory  fighting  on  the  19th,  the 
gallant  young  Montanaro,  who  fought  his  guns  so 
pluckily  on  the  Asmai  heights  on  the  14th,  was 
mortally  wounded,  and  died  fourteen  days  after. 

The  road  from  Jugdulluk  to  Cabul  was  open 
now,  and  General  Gough,  with  more  than  2,000 
men,  was  fast  coming  up,  while  General  Bright, 
with  8,000  men,  was  close  behind;  and  Roberts 
began  to  fear  that  if  the  enemy  heard  of  these 
movements  they  might  meditate  escape;  thus 
he  said  that  if  Gough  "would  only  come  on 
without  loss  of  time, .  not  troubling  himself  about 
ammunition     or    supplies    (which    the    Sherpur 

cantonments  could  afford  him),  he  would  settle 
affairs  at  Cabul  at  once." 

On  the  22nd  of  December  numbers  of  Kohis- 
tanees  were  reported  to  have  come  through  the 
pass  on  the  north-west  of  the  Behmaru  ridge,  so  a 
patrol  of  twenty  Bengal  Lancers  was  sent  out  to 
inspect,  with  orders  to  fall  back  instantly  if  fired 
on,  which  speedily  came  to  pass,  but  at  a  safe 
distance;  and  every  village  in  the  valley  contri- 
buted a  platoon  from  its  loop-holed  walls,  thus 
proving  that  they  were  full  of  the  enemy ;  and  it 
was  observed  that  of  all  the  herds  of  cattle  which 
daily  used  to  graze  by  the  margin  of  the  long 
narrow  lake  which  borders  the  Kohistan  road, 
not  one  was  to  be  seen  on  this  day,  as  they  had 
been  kept  within  the  village  enclosures,  a  circum- 
stance that  excited  suspicion  of  some  event  being 
on  the  tapis. 

Thus  General  Roberts  was  not  surprised  when, 
from  Kuzzil  Bash  scouts,  or  spies,  he  received  in- 
formation in  the  evening  that  before  dawn  next 
morning,  an  attack  would  be  made  upon  his  post 
at  every  point,  the  signal  for  which  would  be  the 
lighting  of  a  great  beacon  on  the  shoulder  of  the 
Koh  Asmai  ridge,  just  above  the  city. 

The  Kuzzil  Bashees  further  reported,  that  for 
several  days  previously  scaling-ladders  capable  of 
admitting  two  men  abreast,  had  been  constructed 
in  Cabul ;  thus  orders  were  issued  for  the  entire 
force  to  be  more  than  usually  on  the  alert  at  four 
o'clock  in  the  morning. 

Every  day  had  served  to  make  the  defences 
stronger.  Abattis  were  largely  employed  every- 
where. There  was  a  gap  between  the  western  face 
of  the  Behmaru  heights  and  the  western  walls  of 
Sherpur,  which  made  that  angle  very  weak,  and 
this  our  Engineers  closed  by  ingeniously  inter- 
locking and  embedding  the  wheels  of  captured 
cannon  in  the  earth,  and  by  many  other  devices. 

A  flanking  fire  was  also  brought  to  bear  upon 
this  point  from  the  heights,  and  it  was  further 
strengthened  by  occupying  and  loopholing  a  large 
house  with  high  walls  in  an  adjacent  village.  The 
bastions  or  solid  towers  of  Sherpur  were  capable 
of  being  armed  with  guns.  The  country  around 
was  full  of  luxuriant*  gardens  and  orchards  enclosed 
by  high  walls,  and  numerous  villages,  some  within 
gunshot,  all  fortified  in  the  Afghan  fashion. 

Besides  the  twenty-three  pieces  of  cannon  with 
the  force,  Colonel  Gordon,  Commandant  of  the 
Royal  Artillery,  had  utilised  for  the  defence 
eighteen  captured  guns,  and  two  eight-inch  how- 
itzers, all  of  British  make,  and  four  7-pounder 
mountain  guns  of  native  manufacture. 

All  these  were  placed  in  position  with  admirable 

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skill,  and  though  the  ammunition  available  for 
them  was  very  indifferent,  yet  they  did  excellent 
service  in  the  course  of  immediate  events.  The 
troops  were  told  off,  as  far  as  possible  to  the 
defences  nearest  their  quarters,  with  a  strong 
reserve — strong,  at  least,  under  the  circumstances 
— posted  at  the  mouth  of  the   Behmaru  gorge. 

Army  than  the  tough  little  Ghoorkas."  A  wing  of 
the  23rd  Pioneers  and  5th  Punjaub  Infantry  held 
the  gorge  at  the  western  foot  of  the  heights,  as 
far  as  the  general's  gateway. 

Some  companies  of  the  28th  Native  Infantry, 
and  one  of  the  67  th,  held  the  eastern  gateway,  and 
that  brilliant  regiment,  the  Guides,  was  posted  at 

VIEW   IN  CXBUL:     the  BAIA  IIISSAR  and  part  of  the  city  from  DEII  AFGHAN. 

This  consisted  of  the  veteran  Gordon  Highlanders 
(nearly  all  long-service  men)  and  wings  of  the 
67th  Hampshire  and  72nd  Highlanders. 

The  Behmaru  heights  were  held  by  the  3rd 
Sikhs  and  5  th  Ghoorkas,  "  their  monkey  faces  and 
squat  little  figures  forming  a  ludicrous  contrast  to 
those  of  their  handsome  stalwart  neighbours.  Small 
and  ugly  as  they  are,  though,  there  are  no  pluckier 
or  more  faithful  men  in  the  ranks  of  the  Native 

Behmaru.  The  remainder  of  the  British  regiments 
mounted  the  parapets  and  gateways  nearest  the 
barracks.  General  Hills  commanded  from  Sir 
F.  Roberts*s  gateway  to  the  Behmaru  gorge, 
and  General  Gough  from  there  to  Behmaru. 
Generals  Macpherson,  Murray,  and  Brownlow 
shared  the  rest  of  the  defences  between  them. 

So  passed  the  night,  in  preparation,  and  the 
morning  of  the  eventful  23rd  drew  on. 


THE  THIRD   AFGHAN  WAR   {continued)  I — THE  ATTACK   ON   SHERPUR. 

As  expected,  at  five  minutes  past  six,  and  while 
the  morning  was  yet  dark,  a  great  and  very 
brilliant  light  suddenly  burst  forth  from  the  Koh 
Asmai  summit — the  light  of  a  carefully  built  war- 
beacon,  fired,  as  it  was  aften^'ards  known,  by  the 
supposed  holy  hand  of  the  aged  Muskh-i-Alam,  the 

chief  mollah,  who  had  been  carried  up  there  in  a 
dhooly  on  purpose. 

Instantly  a  dull  roar  of  many  thousand  voices 
rose  from  the  city  on  the  morning  wind;  and 
above  all  could  be  distinguished  the  cries  of  *^y$ 
Allah/''  ''YiAilahr  ''Demi  Zkenr 

Digitized  by 






A.  GtH.  Baker^t  Cam^,  zUh  Dteemher, 

B.  G€H.  Baker's  Attache/  Takt-iSkak,  isikDec. 

C.  Gem.  Baker's  Attack  o/Asmai  HHU,  x^th  Dec, 

D.  Gen,  MacpkersetCs  Camp^  gtk  December. 

E.  Gen,  Mac/kersem's  Attack  0/  Kam,  lotk  Dec 

F.  Gen.  Macphtrson't  ami  Masters  \      ^.  _ 

FigktnearKatL  )  xxihDee. 

O.  Ge».  Macphertoris  A  ttack  t^Sker  \ 

Darwaza  HeighU.  f  »4MZ)«f. 

H.  Gen.MatseysAttmckofTakt'i'Skak.x^thDtc. 

tmdmgain  em  23/4  Dec* 

«oaae  of  Miles. 
1  a 


PLAN  OP  THE  OPERATIONS  ROXJND  CABUL,   DEC   «>-xs.    1879. 

Digitized  by  V3OOQ iC 




These  were  chiefly  uttered  by  the  mollahs,  amid 
the  monotonous  rattle  of  innumerable  war  drums, 
which  had  a  very  startling  effect  after  the  previous 
dead  silence,  and  is  known  to  be  the  sure  prelude 
to  desperate  and  deadly  work.  Day  had  not  yet 
broken,  but  the  silvery  stars,  and  the  snow  which 
covered  the  whole  country,  prevented  perfect  dark- 
ness, even  after  the  signal  fire  had  sunk  low  and 
died  out 

Quietly,  quickly,  and  resolutely  our  soldiers  fell 
in,  every  company  and  regiment  at  its  post  as- 
signed, the  dismounted  Lancers  with  lance  and 
carbine  in  the  defences. 

On  the  south-west  angle  of  the  cantonments 
some  straggling  shots  were  heard,  and  ten  minutes 
later  there  was  a  smart  musketry  fire  from  and 
against  the  parapet  held  by  the  72nd  Highlanders. 
But  the  firing  in  that  direction  was  a  feint,  for 
suddenly  from  the  north-east,  or  exactly  opposite 
quarter,  and  close  to  the  village  of  Behmaru, 
yells  rent  the  sky,  as  if  a  myriad  fiends  had  broken 
loose,  and  matchlock,  firelock,  rifle,  and  pistol  were 
all  at  work,  causing  an  underbass,  or  ceaseless  roll 
of  small-arm  fire,  broken  at  intervals  by  the  hoarse 
boom  of  a  heavy  gun,  as  the  living  tide  of  the  foe 
came  on,  in  hope  to  repeat  the  massacre  that  began 
in  1842  under  those  hills  of  Behmaru,  and  ended 
at  Gundamuk,  when  Elphinstone's  force  of  16,500 
souls  perished — all  save  one  man  !  Mingling  with 
the  din  was  the  continuous  cheer  of  the  British 
troops ;  while  the  war-cries  of  the  Sikhs  responded 
to  the  yells  of  the  mollahs,  and  the  shrieks  and 
screams  of  the  frantic  Ghazis — while  bullets  came 
whisding  past  in  showers,  or  spattered  and  thudded 
on  the  stone  walls,  splintered  the  abattis  and  lore 
through  the  tents.  And  all  this  wild  work  went  on 
under  a  peaceful  starry  sky. 

The  amount  of  firing  seemed  to  indicate  that  the 
real  attack  in  force  and  fury  was  at  the  Behmaru 
quarter,  as  day  began  to  dawn  and  the  pale  winter 
sun  arose-on  that  snow-clad  scene  of  bloodshed. 

Working  their  way  onward,  taking  cover  in  rear 
of  every  ridge,  mound,  stone,  or  other  object  that 
served  their  purpose,  the  enemy  displayed  con- 
siderable courage  and  determination,  and  ultimately 
got  possession  of  a  small  village  beyond  the  de- 
fences, fi-om  the  boundary  wall  of  which  they  were 
enabled  to  pour  a  very  heavy  musketry  fire  both  on 
the  defences  of  Behmaru  and  the  east  end  of  the 
height;  but  this  fire,  though  galling,  proved,  for- 
tunately, nearly  harmless. 

The  mountain  guns  which,  chiefly,  could  be  used 
at  this  point,  failed  to  dislodge  them.  So  resolute 
was  the  attack,  and  so  great  the  numbers  of  the 
enemy,   mostly  Kohistanees,  that  General  Baker 

twice  sent  reinforcements  from  the  reserve.  These 
numbers  were  constantly  receiving  accessions  of  force 
as  more  men  crept  up  from  the  captured  village, 
and  on  one  occasion  they  seemed  to  have  made 
up  their  minds  for  a  rush  at  the  works,  as  some, 
who  were  evidently  leaders,  came  to  the  front 
waving  standards  and  shouting,  till  some  quiet 
"  pot  shots  "  knocked  over  a  few,  and  sent  the  rest 
in  hot  haste  to  cover. 

While  the  attack  was  maintained  at  this  point, 
the  enemy  enveloped  the  whole  south  and  west 
front  with  a  very  brisk  fire  fi-om  the  orchard  walls 
and  other  cover,  sending  many  of  their  bullets  well 
into  the  interior  of  Sherpur.  They  also  showed 
large  bodies  of  men,  and  for  some  time  it  was 
uncertain  that  they  did  not  mean  to  make  a  serious 
attack  from  the  south  and  west  also. 

General  Roberts,  \^ho  was  duly  informed  by 
telegraph  and  heliograph  of  all  that  was  passing  at 
the  principal  points,  about  ten  o'clock,  after  a  little 
lull  in  the  firing,  and  when  crowds  of  the  enemy 
were  seen  slowly  crossing  the  plain  north  of  the 
village  of  Behmaru,  resolved  to  advance  four  guns 
of  the  G  Battery  3rd  Brigade,  through  the  gorge 
in  that  direction,  so  as  to  bring  a  cross  fire  to  bear 
on  the  village  outside. 

The  5th  Punjaub  Cavalry  dismounted,  and  moved 
also  through  the  gorge,  with  the  object  of  operating 
on  the  enem/s  flank,  but  the  latter  were  beyond 
carbine  range. 

At  this  time  an  Afghan  leader,  mounted  on  a 
fine  chestnut  horse,  bravely  and  coolly  rode  forward 
in  the  teeth  of  our  infantry  fire,  and  in  the  open 
gave  some  orders  to  his  men,  who  were  under  cover 
of  a  wall.  He  was  in  the  act  of  gesticulating  and 
pointing,  sword  in  hand,  to  our  defences,  when  a 
bullet  reached  some  vital  part  He  threw  up  his 
arms  wildly,  and  fell  from  his  horse. 

He  must  have  been  a  man  of  rank,  for  his  fol- 
lowers rushed  forth,  placed  his  lifeless  body  across 
the  saddle,  and  carried  it  away. 

The  cross  fire  from  the  Royal  Artillery  guns  soon 
drove  the  enemy  out  of  the  village,  and  their  dis. 
lodgment  from  this  point  of  attack,  together  with 
the  slaughter  they  had  undergone,  so  dispirited 
the  Kohistanees  that  they  began  to  stream  in 
crowds  out  of  all  the  villages  they  occupied,  towards 
the  gap  that  led  to  Kohistan.  And  now  it  was 
that  once  more  reference  was  made  by  our  native 
troops  to  the  nish&n^  the  starry  cross  that  had  shone 
above  the  peak  of  Takt-i-Shah. 

This  was  about  one  p.m.,  when  the  firing  had 
nearly  ceased,  and  Sir  Frederick  Roberts  knew 
that  now  was  the  time  for  his  cavalry  to  act  He 
leaped  on  horseback,  and  ordering  every  sabre  in 

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pursuit,  rode  to  Behmaru  to  make  the  necessary 
arrangements;  but  a  little  time  elapsed  before 
they  were  in  their  saddles,  as  all  the  troopers  had 
been  on  dismounted  duty  in  the  defences,  and 
consequently  at  some  distance  from  their  horses. 
But  one  squadron,  which  had  been  in  reserve, 
swept  on  the  spur  round  the  base  of  Siah  Sang, 
and  did  terrible  execution  with  the  sword 

Among  those  who  escaped  safely  were  the  Sahib 
Mohammed  Jan  and  the  venerable  mollah  whose 
hand  had  fired  the  war  beacon. 

Had  our  whole  cavalry  been  as  speedily  available 
at  that  time,  a  crushing  blow  must  have  been 
inflicted  on  the  disheartened  and  disorganised 

General  Roberts  made  arrangements  for  clearing 
the  villages  to  the  east  and  south-east  of  Sherpur, 
being  aware  that  the  Afghans  who  lurked  therein 
might  annoy  the  advancing  force  of  General  Gough 
next  morning. 

While  Massey,  with  the  cavalry,  was  circling  well 
round  to  the  north-east  of  Sherpur,  intercepting 
and  cutting  off  the  flying  fugitives  before  they  could 
reach  the  shelter  of  their  precipitous  hills,  many 
who  still  held  some  remaining  villages  on  the  east, 
fearing  that  their  retreat  to  the  city  would  be  cut 
off  when  Massey  returned,  lost  heart,  and  went 
swarming  up  the  Siah  Sang  hills. 

Two  officers,  Captains  Dundas  and  Nugent,  of 
the  Royal  Engineers,  with  a  party  of  sappers, 
covered  by  a  few  cavalry,  had  gone  out  with  orders 
to  blow  up  the  towers  of  two  villages,  south-east  of 
Sherpur,  from  the  walls  of  which  the  enemy  had 
annoyed  the  troops  greatly.  Unfortunately  they 
used  an  Afghan  fuse,  taken  fi-om  the  stores  found 
in  the  Bala  Hissar,  and  being  faultily  constructed, 
it  exploded  the  mine  too  soon,  and  both  officers 
were  killed  among  the  ruins. 

When  evening  fell,  the  firing  had  almost  entirely 
ceased,  only  an  occasional  shot  being  heard,  fired 
by  some  fanatic  or  desperate  fellow  still  lurking 
under  cover ;  and  when  darkness  came  on,  the 
cavalry  returned  at  a  slow  trot,  weary  and  blown, 
after  a  long  and  hot  pursuit 

There  seem  to  have  been  various  opinions  as  to 
the  enemy's  strength,  for  after  telegraphing  that 
they  were  30,000,  Mitford  quotes  a  letter  of  Sir 
Frederick  Roberts,  in  which  he  says,  "  I  am  of 
opinion  that  not  more  than  60,000  took  the  field 
at  any  one  time."  He  estimates  their  losses  at 
"not  less  than  3,000  killed  and  wounded."  Our 
own  losses  were  astonishingly  small— only  five 
killed  and  thirty-three  wounded,  including  Lieu- 
tenant Gambler,  of  the  5th  Punjaub  Cavalry,  and 
Lieutenant  Bum-Murdoch,  of  the  Royal  Engineers. 

To  make  General  Gough's  march  on  the  24th 
quite  safe,  a  force  was  sent  early  in  the  morning  to 
occupy  the  Siah  Sang  range,  a  precaution  which 
proved  unnecessary,  as  their  recent  failure  had 
caused  the  whole  of  the  insurgents  to  disperse  to 
their  homes  under  cloud  of  night 

On  the  same  day,  in  the  afternoon,  the  5  th 
Punjaub  Infantry  marched  into  the  city,  and  for- 
mally reinstated  General  Hills  in  his  office  as 
military  governor.  The  appearance  of  the  once 
grand  bazaar  was  deplorable :  the  shops  were 
destroyed  and  defaced,  and  all  business  seemed  to 
have  been  totally  suspended.  A  company  of  the  5  th, 
under  General  Hills,  occupied  the  Kotwal  for  the 
night ;  but  lest  the  Bala  Hissar  might  have  been 
treacherously  undermined,  it  was  not  occupied  by 
the  troops  till  carefully  examined.        • 

While  the  enemy  were  in  possession  of  it,  con- 
stant explosions  had  been  heard,  more  than  130 
tons  of  gunpowder  having  been  left  there.  It  was 
said  that  on  one  occasion  the  followers  of  rival 
chiefs  were  quarrelling  about  the  possession  of  a 
cask  containing  about  100  pounds.  The  larger 
party  got  possession,  and  were  triumphantly  carry- 
ing it  off,  when  one  of  the  baffled  faction  ex- 
claimed, "  If  we  cannot  get  it,  you  shall  not  keep 
it ! "  and  casting  a  lighted  fuse  into  it,  blew  himself 
and  all  who  were  present,  above  100  in  number, 
to  pieces. 

On  the  24th  the  cavahy  brigade  set  out  in  two 
divisions,  one  riding  by  the  Sang-i-Nawishta  gorge, 
while  the  other  went  by  the  Owshar  Kotal,  and 
both  met  in  the  plain  of  Chardeh,  without  seeing 
any  of  the  enemy,  save  dead,  or  the  wounded  who 
had  dropped  by  the  wayside.  A  dreadful  snow- 
storm drove  the  cavahy  back  to  quarters  at  full 
speed  about  nightfall 

On  Christmas  Day  General  Gough's  column 
came  in,  sorely  disappointed  at  being  too  late 
to  share  in  the  recent  action ;  and  the  9th  Foot 
and  4th  Ghoorkas  were  quartered  in  the  Bala 
Hissar,  which  was  found  to  be  safe.  On  the  last 
day  of  the  year  the  dead  were  buried  in  the 
cemetery  at  the  north-west  angle,  under  the  Beh- 
maru hilL 

The  snow  was  deep  in  the  cantonments  of 
Sherpur  when  New  Year's  Eve  was  celebrated, 
amid  hot  whisky  and  water,  by  the  officers  of  all 
corps  in  the  mess  of  the  92nd  Highlanders;  a 
party  went  off  to  head-quarters,  in  the  old  Scottish 
fashion,  to  "  first  foot "  the  general,  who,  on  hearing 
cries  for  him,  came  forth,  somewhat  dhhabilUy 
in  the  first  hour  of  the  New  Year's  Day,  and 
laughing,  said, — 

"  The  92nd  have  always  come  to  the  front  when 

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/  called  on  tAem,  so  I  suppose  I  must  do  the  same 

Yakoub  Khan's  wife  and  mother,  and  Yaha 
Khan's  wife  (daughter  of  the  celebrated  Sirdar 
Ackbar  Khan),  three  ladies,  who  had  left  nothing 
undone  to  keep  up  the  excitement,  and  were  sup- 
posed to  contemplate  flight,  were  brought  prisoners 
into  the  cantonments  at  Sherpur,  prior  to  being 
sent  on  to  India. 

With  reference  to  the  fighting  qualities  of  the 
Afghans,  an  able  paper  that  appeared  about  this 
time  in  the  Pioneer  says,  "An  Afghan  never 
thinks  of  asking  quarter,  but  fights  with  the  ferocity 
of  a  tiger,  and  clings  to  life  till  his  eyes  glaze  and 
his  hands  refuse  to  pull  a  pistol  trigger,  or  use  a 
knife  in  a  dying  effort  to  kill  or  maim  his  enemy. 
The  stem  realities  of  war  were  more  pronounced 
on  the  battle-fields  of  Afghanistan  than  perhaps 
they  have  ever  been  in  India,  if  we  except  the 
retribution  days  of  the  Mutiny.  To  spare  a 
wounded  man  for  a  minute  was  probably  to  cause 
the  death  of  the  next  soldier  who  unsuspectingly 
walked  past  him.  .  .  .  One;thing  our  men 
certainly  learned  in  Afghanistan,  and  that  was  to 
keep  their  wits  about  them  when  pursuing  an 
enemy  or  passing  over  a  hard-won  field  There 
might  be  danger  lurking  in  each  seemingly  inani- 
mate form  studding  the  ground,  and  unless  care 
and  caution  were  exercised,  the  wounded  Afghan 
would  steep  his  soul  in  bliss  by  killing  a  Kafir 
just  when  life  was  at  its  last  ebb.  This  stubborn 
love  of  fighting  in  extremis  is  promoted,  doubt- 
less, by  fanaticism,  and  we  saw  so  much  of  it  that 

our  men  at  close  quarters  always  drove  their 
bayonets  well  home,  so  that  there  should  be  no 
mistake  as  to  the  deadliness  of  the  wound  The 
physical  courage  which  distinguished  the  untrained 
mobs  who  fought  so  resolutely  against  us,  was 
worthy  of  all  admiration ;  the  temerity  with  which 
men,  badly  armed,  and  lacking  skiUed  leaders, 
clung  to  Uieir  positions,  was  remarkable,  to  say 
nothing  of  the  sullen  doggedness  they  so  often 
showed  when  retiring.  But  when  the  tide  of  the 
fight  set  in  fully  against  them,  and  they  saw  that 
further  resistance  would  involve  them  more  deeply, 
there  was  so  sudden  a  change  always  apparent, 
that  one  could  scarcely  believe  that  the  fugitives 
hurrying  over  the  hills,  were  the  same  men  who 
had  resisted  so  desperately  but  a  few  minutes 
before.  They  acted  wisely;  they  knew  their 
powers  in  scaling  steep  hills,  or  making  their 
escape  by  fleetness  of  foot ;  and  the  host  generally 
dissolved  with  a  rapidity  which  no  one  but  an 
eye-witness  can  appreciate.  If  cavalry  overtook 
them,  they  turned  like  wolves,  and  fought  with 
desperation,  selling  their  lives  as  dearly  as  ever 
men  sold  them ;  but  there  was  no  rally  in  the  true 
sense  of  the  word,  and  but  faint  attempts  at  aiding 
each  other.  Their  regular  troops  were  but  little 
amenable  to  discipline,  by  reason  of  deficient 
training,  and  tliey  resorted  to  the  tactics  they  had 
pursued  as  tribesmen  when  once  they  were  forced 
to  retire." 

This  mode  of  fightmg,  and  this  kind  of  spirited 
fury,  were  strikingly  manifested  in  their  attack  on, 
and  retreat  from,  the  cantonments  of  Sherpur. 




Our  garrisons  remained  in  Cabul  and  in  the 
annexed  territory,  but  we  had  not  been  long  in 
fancied  power  before  there  was  soon  opened  a 
new  chapter  in  this  terrible  Afghan  war ;  and 
so  early  as  the  20th  of  January  it  was  deemed 
necessary  to  strengthen,  by  some  cavalry,  the 
head-quarters  of  the  Khyber  column,  holding  Jelku 
labad,  imder  General  Bright,  and  matters  in 
Afghanbtan  soon  appeared  to  be  as  far  from  settle- 
ment as  ever.  But  having  uprooted  the  consti- 
tuted authority  there,  we  were  bound,  in  justice  to 
the  more  peaceable  of  the  inhabitants,  and  also  by 

the  consideration  of  our  own  prestige  with  regard 
to  our  Indian  Empire,  not  to  leave  the  land  a  prey 
to  anarchy;  though  the  "strong,  friendly,  and  united 
Afghanistan,"  of  which  Lord  Lytton  spoke,  seemed 
somewhat  of  a  myth  as  yet 

More  than  ever  it  became  evident  that  one  of  the 
most  troublesome  features  of  Afghan  warfare  is  that 
we  can  never  tell  when  the  enemy  have  had  enough 
of  fighting;  and  it  was  shrewdly  suspected  by 
some  that  they  found  profit  as  well  as  pleasure  by 
being  in  conflict  with  us. 

As  the  early  spring  days  crept  on,  aU  remained 

Digitized  by 





quiet  at  Cabul,  from  whence,  on  the  21st  of 
March,  1880,  Sir  Frederick  Roberts  wrote  thus  to 
a  friend : — 

"We  have  been  well  provided  with  literature 
and  warm  clothing,  and  have  got  through  the 
winter  better  than  we  might  have  expected.  The 
troops  are  in  excellent  spirits,  and  will,  I  hope, 
finish  the  campaign  with  credit  to  themselves. 
Our  sick  list  has  been,  and  still  is,  remarkably 
small — ^a  little  over  4  per  cent  of  British,  and 
just  under  4  per  cent,  of  native  troops.  You 
would  be  much  gratified  with  the  hospital  wards, 
which,  owing  to  the  kind  forethought  of  yourself 
and  other  friends,  are  brightened  up  by  a  number 
of  pretty  pictures,  adding  greatly  to  the  comfort 
and  pleasure  of  the  sick  and  wounded  soldiers." 

It  was  an  important  fact  at  this  time  that,  with 
few  exceptions,  there  were  present  at  Cabul  all 
the  representatives  of  the  dominant  and  reigning 
branch  of  the  Barakzye  tribe.  Of  the  seven 
surviving  sons  of  Dost  Mohammed  Khan — the 
leading  destroyer  of  Elphinstone*s  army— five  were 
there  with  their  families,  and  his  descendants  in 
the  third  generation  were  numerous. 

Among  the  latter,  only  Abdur  Rahman,  Tahir 
Khan,  and  Ayoub  Khan  (of  whom  we  shall  hear  in 
the  future)  were  absent 

At  Ghazni  there  was  understood  to  be  a  dis- 
agreement between  the  Great  Mollah  and  the 
Sahib  Mohammed  Jan ;  and  rumours  began  to  be 
heard  in  the  cantonment  at  Sherpur  of  warlike 
musters  and  gatherings  amongst  the  mountains — 
musters  large  or  small — which  were  not  without 

It  was  some  of  these  rumours,  probably,  which 
caused  the  demonstration  made  by  General  Bright 
along  the  Khyber  line,  when  about  the  15th  of 
February  he  marched  with  a  force  into  the 
Lughman  Valley  to  blow  up  some  of  the  forts, 
and  assign  others  to  the  keeping  of  friendly 

Before  the  end  of  the  month  suspicions  were  ex- 
cited of  an  attack  to  be  made  on  our  troops  in  and 
about  CabuL  Accordingly  preparations  were  made 
to  move  up  the  whole  of  General  Bright's  force  and 
that  of  Sir  Frederick  Roberts,  with  whom  Sir  Donald 
Stewart  was  to  co-operate  by  a  movement  from 
Candahar,  with  some  40-pounders  for  the  capture 
of  Ghazni,  thus  placing  the  turbulent  Sahib  Jan 
between  two  fires.  Meanwhile  a  splendid  road, 
passable  for  waggons  and  heavy  artillery,  was  being 
constructed  between  Peshawur  and  Cabul,  with 
permanent  forts,  barracks,  and  telegraphs  between 
Jellalabad  and  India. 

A  bustle  of  preparation  pervaded  all  the  posts 

occupied  by  our  troops,  and  the  middle  of  March 
saw  what  has  been  described  as  a  continuous  chain 
of  camels,  oxen,  mules,  ponies,  and  men  threading 
the  deep  dark  mountain  defiles  that  lead  from 
Peshawur  to  the  Afghan  capital.  But  the  waysides 
were  littered  by  the  dry  bones  or  fast  decomposing 
remains  of  other  baggage  animals  which  had 
perished  of  toil,  disease,  and  cold  during  the  past 
war ;  and  out  of  the  deep  ravines,  over  which  the 
gorged  kites  were  ever  hovering,  there  rose  a 
hideous  stench  which  loaded  the  air.  We  have 
said  the  Kurram  column  alone  lost  9,496  camels. 
How  many  had  already  perished  in  the  war, 
Government  alone  knew;  but  one  writer  says 
that  by  the  22nd  of  March,  1880,  the  number  was 
little  short  of  80,000. 

Petty  outrages  were  beginning  again,  and  at 
Cabul  the  order  was  re-issued  that  persons  found 
armed  within  a  five-mile  radius  would  be  arrested. 

On  the  27  th  of  March,  Fort  Battye  was  attacked 
in  the  night ;  an  officer — Lieutenant  Angelo — was 
killed,  with  nine  men,  and  eighteen  more  were 
wounded,  two  mortally.  Fort  Battye  stood 
eighteen  miles  on  the  Indian  side  of  Gundamuk, 
in  the  Khyber  Pass,  amid  a  barren  wilderness  of 
rocks  and  stones,  and  was  constructed  of  mud 
only.  The  whole  affair  was  over  in  twenty 
minutes.  After  a  brisk  fusillade  the  enemy  retired, 
leaving  six  dead,  and  carrying  off  their  wounded, 
traces  of  whose  blood  were  found  on  many  of  the 
hill  paths  next  day.  Our  wounded  were  terribly 
slashed  and  cut  with  charahs. 

Three  hundred  men  were  promptly  sent  up  by 
General  Bright,  but  unless  the  villages  to  which  the 
assaikints  belonged  could  be  known,  nothing  would 
be  done.  "  We  may  burn  a  village  or  two,"  wrote 
one  who  was  present,  "  but  what  retribution  is  this  ? 
In  the  majority  of  cases  these  so-called  villages  are 
abodes  of  little  higher  architectural  pretensions 
than  the  leafy  bowers  of  the  chimpanzee.  A  few 
rough  bundles  of  coarse  grass  for  thatch,  a  stone 
or  two,  and  a  few  sticks,  form  a  hovel  into  which 
the  happy  possessor  can  just  creep." 

A  new  feature  in  the  war  in  Afghanistan  was  now 
becoming  prominent — the  extreme  dislike  of  the 
fighting  classes  of  India  for  service  there.  Thus,  on 
March  the  i6th,  the  following  order  was  issued 
from  the  Adjutant-General's  Office  at  Simla:— 
"  With  a  view  to  facilitate  recruiting  for  Native 
Infantry  regiments  of  the  Bengal,  Madras,  and 
Bombay  armies  now  employed  on  field  service  in 
Afghanistan,  or  in  mobilised  reserves,  the  Govern- 
ment of  India  has  authorised  the  grant  of  a 
bounty,"  under  certain  rates  stated.  "  This,"  says 
the  Spectator^  "is  the  first  time,  we  believe,  that 

Digitized  by 





bounty  has  ever  been  needed  in  India,  and  the 
amount  is  equivalent  to  more  than  seven  months* 
full  pay.  It  is  given,  too,  in  a  country  where  twenty 
years  ago  there  were  three  lads  waiting  eagerly  for 
each  sepoy  vacancy,  and  when  Lord  Beaconsfield 
believed  he  could  raise  half  a  million  of  men." 

to  occupy  Ghazni,  Sir  Donald  began  his  march 
northward  by  two  routes  for  some  distance,  till  he 
drew  together  his  entire  force,  which  consisted  of 
only  7,000  men.  His  position  at  Candahar  was 
occupied  by  a  Bombay  division  under  General  Prim- 
rose, also  charged  with  care  of  the  road  to  Quettah. 


itt  Position  of  British.-" 
2nd  Position  0/  Dritiih,. 
Afghans, — ^.., 

2nd  Punjabi 

Scale  ofa  Mllo. 


Early  in  April  ensued  Sir  Donald  Stewart's  des- 
perate battle  at  Ahmed  Kheyl,  which  led  to  the 
capture  of  Ghazni. 

On  the  1 7  th  of  that  month  General  Ross  marched 
to  effect  a  junction  with  him,  at  the  head  of  668 
cavalry,  the  9th  Foot,  the  24th  Punjaubees,  and 
the  4th  Ghoorkas — in  all  4,000  men,  with  ten  pieces 
of  cannon — a  movement  which,  for  reasons  to  be 
explained,  he  failed  to  achieve. 

Quitting  Candahar  with  his  division,  with  orders 

Tidings  of  Stewart's  march  seemed  to  have  spread 
like  wildfire  through  the  tribes,  and  doubtless  it 
was  their  emissaries  from  Ghazni  who  roused  the 
Kakkars  and  other  mountaineers,  that  fell  upon  our 
luckless  post  at  Dubrai  (an  incident  to  be  related 
in  its  place),  on  the  road  to  Quettah. 

As  Sir  Donald  ascended  the  valley  of  Tumak, 
rumours  reached  him  that  the  Ghilzie  malcontents 
were  assembling  in  arms  near  Mukur,  resolved  to 
dispute  his  advance ;  and  their  operations  on  the 

Digitized  by 


Ahmed  KheyLl 



Quettah  road  were  doubtless  part  of  a  plan  which 
they  hoped  would  induce  Stewart  to  halt,  if  not 
to  retire. 

Sir  Donald  knew  that  any  success  achieved  on 
the  southern  road  must  prove  trivial  or  temporary, 
so  the  wary  old  soldier  continued  steadily  his  march 
to  the  north. 

His  force  was  compact,  handy,  well  equipped 
for  its  work,  with  a  good  train,  including  four  heavy 

described  as  a  good  position,  twenty-three  miles 
south  of  GhaznL 

Their  numbers  were  estimated  at  15,000,  horse 
and  foot,  composed  of  Andarees,  Tarakees,  Suleiman 
Kheyls,  and  other  tribesmen.  The  position  they 
held  near  Ahmed  Kheyl,  was  an  undulating  ridge 
of  the  Galkoh  Mountains.  It  extended  across 
Stewart's  front,  and  along  his  left  flank. 

When  the  enemy  were  first  in   position,  three 

PLAN  OF  GHAZNI  (l8So). 

battery  guns ;  and  his  route  by  under  the  ramparts 
of  Khelat-i  Ghilzie,  so  famous  for  Craigie  Halkett's 
defence  in  the  old  Afghan  war.  Beyond  that  point 
the  country  became  most  unfavourable  for  Afghan 
tactics,  being  open,  or  without  much  cover;  thus 
the  enemy  would  be  compelled  to  fight  a  pitched 
battle,  if  they  fought  at  all 

Stewart  neglected  no  means  to  keep  himself  well 
informed,  as  he  had  sufficient  cavalry  through  whom 
to  gather  intelligence.  Whatever  he  might  have 
learned  previously,  on  the  morning  of  Monday,  the 
19th  of  April,  when  marching  from  Mushaki,  the 
enemy  were  seen  in  front,  occupying  what  has  been 

miles  distant,  tho  leading  brigades  advanced  to  the 
front  in  the  following  order : — One  troop  of  the 
19th  Bengal  Lancers,  3rd  Ghoorkas,  2nd  Sikhs, 
59th  Nottinghamshire,  the  rest  of  the  19th  Lancers, 
and  2nd  Punjaub  Cavalry.  On  drawing  near  the 
enemy,  the  infantry  brigade  of  General  Hughes 
was  ordered  to  "form  for  attack;"  the  markers 
hurried  to  the  front ;  the  brigade  was  ordered  to  lie 
down  while  the  artillery,  under  Waters  and  Camp- 
bell, moved  forward  and  opened  fire  at  1,200  yards' 
range,  or  at  1,500  yards,  according  to  another 
account ;  but  so  rapid  was  the  advance  of  the  foe 
that  the  range  had  to  be  quickly  reduced  to  400, 

Digitized  by 




[Ahmtd  Kheyl. 

and  finally  to  case-shot  distance.  The  latter  was 
soon  expended,  and  then  the  guns  were  loaded 
with  shrapnel,  with  heads  towards  the  charge,  to 
explode  at  the  muzzle,  a  process  that  covered  the 
ground  before  the  cannon  with  heaps  of  dying  and 
dead,  fearfully  torn  and  mutilated. 

Meanwhile  the  enemy,  though  keeping  their  front 
to  the  road  as  if  to  bar  our  advance,  were  gradually 
making  their  way,  under  the  concealment  of  some 
grassy  ridges,  to  their  own  right,  so  far  as  eventually 
to  turn  our  left  flank,  which  was  reinforced  by  a 
squadron  of  the  19th  Lancers ;  at  the  very  time  the 
enemy's  cavalry  poured  down  two  ravines  in  the 
form  of  the  letter  V,  "and  struck  the  Bengal 
Lancers  before  they  could  charge,"  according  to 
one  account  They  were  sent  to  the  right-about, 
and  pursued  "  right  into  the  centre  of  our  position," 
says  another.  Our  force  then,  it  adds,  assumed 
the  shape  of  a  semich-cle,  with  a  gap  in  the  centre. 
Simultaneously  with  the  attack  on  our  left,  the 
.enemy's  infantry,  a  horde  of  fanatic  and  frantic 
swordsmen,  their  bright  tulwars  and  charahs 
flashing  in  the  sun,  with  streaming  banners  and 
wild  yells,  came  rushing  down,  and  delivered  an 
attack  upon  our  front  and  flanks,  and  many  made 
their  way  between  one  regiment  and  the  guns, 
through  the  gap  referred  to. 

According  to  an  eye-witness,  there  were  few  more 
brilliant  examples  of  heroic  valour  than  those 
exhibited  by  the  Afghans,  as  under  a  tremendous 
musketry  and  artillery  fire  they  pressed  forward  to 
the  attack ;  and  never  before  in  any  encounter  with 
British  troops  have  they  exhibited  anything  like  the 
magnificent  bravery  which  they  showed  in  the 
attack.  Our  infantry  stood  firm,  and  poured  a 
terrific  fire  into  their  line,  while  the  artillery 
ploughed  them  down  with  showers  of  grape ;  and 
the  cavalry,  with  lances  levelled,  made  several 
splendid  charges  through  their  dense  and  yelling 

Sir  Donald  Stewart  personally  commanded  on 
the  ground,  and  twice  the  Ghazni  swordsmen 
nearly  hewed  a  passage  to  where  he  stood.  General 
Hughes  was  sharply  hit,  and  nearly  unhorsed,  by  a 
sqent  ball,  when  well  to  the  front,  but  was  able  to 
remain  in  his  saddle  and  direct  operations.  "At 
this  crisis  our  line  was  penetrated,"  says  the  corre- 
spondent of  the  Standard^  "  and  both  flanks  turned, 
the  artillery  having  fired  away  all  their  case-shot" 

The  whole  reserve,  consisting  of  the  19th 
Punjaub  Infantry,  two  companies  of  Sappers,  one 
of  the  60th  Rifles,  and  one  of  the  25th  Native 
Infantry,  which  was  doing  duty  as  the  general's 
escort,  was  now  ordered  up  to  support  the  guns, 
and  reinforce  the  fighting  line. 

The  infantry  stood  firm,  making  a  most  gallant 
stand,  mowing  down  the  enemy  with  a  biting 
musketry  fire ;  but  their  right  flank  was  shaken  by 
the  desperate  onslaught  of  the  enemy.  At  this 
moment  the  Ghazni  horse  charged  furiously  down 
upon  the  left  flank,  rolling  our  cavalry  back  before 
the  weight  and  impetus  of  their  attack;  and,  mingled 
in  a  struggling  throng,  the  seething  and  surging 
mass  of  men  and  horses,  all  in  wild  niilke^  came 
down  upon  the  3rd  Ghoorkas. 

Colonel  Gyster  quickly  formed  the  latter  in 
company  squares,  thus  leaving  open  spaces  through 
which  friends  and  foes  could  pass  together. 

As  the  Ghazni  horse  swept  through  these,  the 
3rd  Ghoorkas  opened  upon  them  a  blighting  fire  of 
musketry,  point  blank,  in  which  Her  Majesty's  59th 
Regiment,  the  2nd  Sikhs,  and  19th  Punjaub 
Infantry,  joined.  Most  fearful  was  the  eflfect  of 
this  sudden  and  concentrated  fire.  In  the  wildest 
confusion,  rising,  sinking,  kicking,  plunging,  and 
rolling  over  each  other,  went  the  Afghan  cavalry ; 
and  then  our  own,  relieved  from  the  pressure  on 
their  rear,  fell  upon  the  shattered  column  with 
lance  and  sword,  hurling  it  back  through  or  between 
the  squares,  and  the  great  crisis  of  the  day  was 

The  whole  enemy  fell  back,  and  though  a  body 
of  them,  under  cover  of  some  villages  and  orchard 
walls,  kept  up  a  parting  fire,  which  hit  a  few,  they 
all  fled  ultimately;  and  Colonel  Maclean,  with 
the  I  St  Punjaub  Cavalry,  dashed  off"  in  hot 
pursuit,  and  falling  upon  a  body  that  had  rallied 
on  an  eminence,  he  hewed  them  down  on  all 
sides,  and  once  again  the  headlong  flight  was 

The  battle  was  now  completely  won ;  "  but  for  a 
time  victory  had  been  doubtful,  and  had  the  whole 
of  the  enemy's  force  been  thrown  upon  us  at  the 
critical  moment,  the  consequences  would  have  been 
very  serious.  As  it  was,  the  victory  was  complete 
and  crushing,  and  a  blow  has  been  inflicted  upon 
the  Afghans,"  said  a  writer  at  the  time,  "from 
which  they  will  be  long  ere  they  recover." 

A  long  pursuit  by  cavalry  was  not  possible,  as 
protection  for  the  baggage  and  convoys  was  re- 

The  casualties  on  our  side  were  seventeen  killed 
and  115  wounded,  including  Lieutenant  Young,  of 
the  19th  Lancers,  dangerously;  Captain  Corbet,  of 
the  Royal  Horse  Artillery;  Lieutenant-Colonel 
Lawson,  commanding  the  59th  Foot ;  Lieutenants 
Watson,  59th,  Stewart,  2nd  Punjaub  Cavalry,  and 
York,  19th  Bengal  Lancers.  Colonel  Lawson  was 
son  of  an  ex-Lord  Provost  of  Edinburgh,  and  had 
served  with  distinction  in  the  China  War. 

Digitized  by 





Above  i,ooo  of  the  enemy  lay  dead  on  the 
ground,  with  more  than  2,000  wounded  Stewart 
immediately  after  the  engagement  marched  his 
division  forward  from  Ahmed  Kheyl  to  Nani,  a 
distance  of  nine  miles  nearer  Ghazni,  to  which  he 
swiftly  sent  forward  his  cavalry  ;  and  that  city,  so 
long  the  capital  of  the  troublesome  Ghilzies,  and 
the  head-quarters  of  the  Sahib  Mohammed  Jan, 
became  ours  without  firing  a  shot. 

The  Afghans  frequently  made  a  point  of  carrying 
off  their  dead ;  but  at  Ahmed  Kheyl  they  had  to 
leave  them  where  they  lay.  Some  of  their  wounded 
were  picked  up  and  taken  to  the  hospital  for  treat- 
ment, much  to  their  surprise,  it  being  so  unlike 
what  they  did  to  our  wounded,  whom  they  were 
wont  to  savagely  mutilate  and  dishonour. 

Mohammed  Jan  had  fled  now,  and  his  where- 
abouts was  doubtful 

We  have  referred  to  the  collateral  movement  of 
the  enemy  on  the  Quettah  road.  On  the  night  of 
the  1 6th  of  April  a  great  force  of  tribesmen, 
including  fully  1,000  Kakkar  Pathans,  a  race 
far  exceeding  in  the  most  utter  savagery  any 
other  in  Afghanistan,  attacked  a  post  at  Dubrai, 
between  Chaman  and  Candahar,  held  by  Major 
Sydney  James  Woudley  and  a  party  of  the  19th 
Bombay  Infantry,  of  which  he  had  previously  been 

The  duties  assigned  to  him  were  those  of  Road 
Commandant,  and  kept  him  on  the  line  of  com- 
munication, and  while  on  this  service  he  had  halted 
for  the  night  at  Dubrai 

It  is  said  that  he  had  received  a  warning  on  the 
previous  evening  that  he  would  be  attacked,  and 
when  that  event  took  place,  not  by  the  main  body 
of  the  insurgents,  but  a  strong  force  of  them, 
he  and  his  entire  party  perished,  save  one,  who 
gave  the  following  narrative  of  the  encounter : — 
"  I  was  one  of  the  major's  escort,  and  had  come  to 
Dubrai  from  Chaman  on  Friday,  making  a  double 
march.  About  five  p.m.  it  was  reported  to  the 
major  sahib  that  the  post  would  be  attacked  that 
night  by  a  large  body  of  men.  The  major  sent 
out  two  of  the  mounted  local  levies  to  ascertain 
the  truth  of  the  report,  and  with  the  others  set  to 
work  to  strengthen  the  defences  of  the  post  in 
preparation  for  an  attacL  These  two  men  never 
returned.  At  about  eleven  o'clock  the  post  was 
attacked  by  some  800  men.  We  defended  it  as 
long  as  our  ammunition  lasted,  and  then  the  enemy 
rushed  in,  in  a  body.  I  was  standing  next  to  the 
major  sahib,  who  was  defending  himself  with  his 
sword,  and  I  saw  him  cut  down.  Two  men  came 
at  me.  I  shot  one  with  my  last  cartridge,  and 
made  good  my  escape  over  the  parapet,  and  into 

the  hills,  where  I  hid  till  daylight.  Seeing  that 
the  enemy  had  cleared  oflf,  I  ventured  to  return, 
and  on  entering  the  enclosure  saw  the  dead  bodies 
of  the  major  sahib  and  other  defenders  of  the  post 
I  then  left,  and  made  my  way  to  Candahar  through 
the  hills.  I  met  a  Kafila  on  the  road ;  the  men 
gave  me  something  to  eat,  but  would  not  allow  me 
to  accompany  them.  The  enemy  carried  off  every- 
thing of  value  at  the  post,  and  completely  gutted 
the  place.  I  am  certain  we  killed  over  twenty  five 
of  them." 

The  Wali  of  Candahar  discovered  the  villages 
from  whence  these  assailants  came,  and  destroyed 
them  all 

To  add  to  the  growing  darkness  of  the  political 
horizon,  almost  every  station  on  the  Humai  route 
had  been  attacked  or  menaced  by  large  Panazi 
gatherings,  causing  the  suspension  of  all  road- 
making  and  railway  worL  These  disaflfections, 
led  by  prominent  chiefs  of  tribes,  were  all  insti- 
gated, it  was  supposed,  by  an  ardent  follower  of 
Mohammed  Jan. 

Sir  Robert  Sandeman,  Assistant  Commissioner 
of  the  Dera  Ghaza  Khan  district,  an  officer  who 
had  been  wounded  at  Lucknow,  and  served  with 
the  Oude  column,  gave  the  Kakkar  tribe  severe 
lessons  more  than  once ;  but  in  the  country  mid- 
way between  the  Khojuk  Pass  and  Candahar,  the 
cavalry  could  always  act  with  effect,  and  nimble 
though  the  limbs  of  the  hill-men  were,  they  did  not 
always  suffice  to  carry  them  beyond  the  lances  and 
carbines  of  the  dashing  Scinde  and  Bombay  Irre- 

On  the  25th  of  April  a  brilliant  encounter  took 
place  between  our  troops  at  Charasiah  and  the 

Information  having  been  brought  to  Colonel 
Jenkins,  commanding  at  Charasiah,  that  he  was 
about  to  be  attacked  at  two  a.m.  on  Sunday,  he  got 
his  force,  consisting  of  a  wing  of  the  Gordon 
Highlanders,  the  Guides  Corps,  and  two  Royal 
Horse  Artillery  guns,  under  arms,  and  resolved 
to  anticipate  the  Logarees,  who  were  above  4,000 

A  cavalry  party  went  forward  to  reconnoitre, 
and  when  day  broke  the  enemy  were  seen  posted 
on  a  semicircular  hill,  a  mile  to  the  south-east  of 
Jenkins's  camp,  and  then  they  began  at  once  a 
distant  fire  of  Martinis  and  Sniders,  pillaged,  no 
doubt,  from  the  arsenal  in  Cabul 

The  tents  were  instantly  struck,  and  with  the 
baggage  removed  to  a  hill  in  the  rear.  The 
Highlanders  took  a  hurried  breakfast,  then  dis- 
positions were  made  to  prevent  the  enemy 
from    approaching    too    near,    and    the    Guides 

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Cavalry,  with  loo  infantry,  were  disposed  as  a 
reserve.  The  small  camping  ground  and  the  little 
ruined  forts  that  were  near  it,  were  occupied  by 
infantry;  and  while  these  arrangements  were  in 
progress,  the  enemy  on  the  semicircular  hill  were 
being  so  constantly  reinforced  from  the  side  of  the 
Chardeh  Valley  and  other  directions,  that  they 
almost  surrounded  the  slender  force  of  Colonel 
Jenkins,  and  began  to  shout  exultingly,  in  the 
usual  anticipation  of  a  great  slaughter. 

They  exhibited  the  utmost  daring,  and  were 
only  prevented  from  carrying  the  position  at  a  rush 
by  the  unflinching  aspect  and  steadiness  of  our 
troops,  who  were  exposed  to  a  heavy  fire  from  all 
directions  from  daylight  till  noon.  Sir  Frederick 
Roberts,  on  being  informed  by  heliograph  of  the 
state  of  affairs,  sent  from  the  cantonments  at 
Sherpur  a  reinforcement  under  Brigadier  Hubert 
Macpherson,  one  of  his  most  active  officers. 
These  consisted  of  the  other  wing  of  the  92  nd 
Highlanders,  the  45th  Native  Infantry,  a  few  of 
the  2nd  Ghoorkas,  and  two  screw  guns,  all  of 
which  came  to  Charasiah  at  noon  precisely,  and 
arrangements  were  at  once  made  between  the 
brigadier  and  Colonel  Jenkins  for  an  attack.    '^ 

General  Macpherson,  with  his  new  force,  fell  on 
the  enemy's  left,  and  Jenkins,  with  his  original 
force,  on  their  right  and  centre.  Both  attacks 
were  delivered  with  the  greatest  brilliance,  and  the 
Logarees  were  driven  back  on  every  hand.  They 
fled,  and  were  pursued  by  sabre  and  case-shot,  the 
Guides  Cavalry  and  Horse  Artillery,  with  their  light 
screw  guns,  following  them  down  the  Chardeh 
Valley,  where,  by  four  p.m.,  not  one  of  them  re-, 
mained  in  sight,  save  the  dead  and  wounded ;  and 
at  that  hour  the  troops  marched  back  to  Sherpur, 
which  was  further  strengthened  now,  while  extra 
precautions  were  taken  to  guard  against  the  sur- 
prise of  detached  forts  and  garrisons. 

Our  total  casualties  were  thirty-two  wounded, 
chiefly  of  the  Guides,  many  most  severely.  That 
regiment  had  nine  horses  killed  and  twenty-four 
wounded  The  enemy's  loss  was  very  great  No 
less  than  100  dead  lay  before  the  92nd  High- 
landers, and  wounded  in  proportion. 

The  chief  leader  in  this  attack  was  Mohammed 
Hassan,  ex-Governor  of  Jellalabad,  a  zealous 
partisan  of  Yakoub  Khan.  His  personal  standard 
was  captured.  The  head  men  of  the  Logarees 
derived  considerable  advantages  from  the  presence 
of  our  troops  in  their  country,  and  one  in 
particular,  Jamal  Khan,  of  Barkhan,  had  become 
very  wealthy  by  providing  bullocks  for  our  trans- 
port service. 

Some   anxiety  was    now  felt  at   Sherpur    and 

Cabul  by  the  non-appearance  of  General  Ross's 
column,  which  had  marched  towards  Ghazni  on 
the  17th  of  April  to  form  a  junction  with  General 
Stewart,  and  was  to  await  his  arrival  at  Syazabad, 
about  fifty  miles  from  CabuL  It  was  well  known  that 
General  Ross  had  to  encounter  several  difficulties 
about  supplies  on  the  way,  as  the  people  were  far 
from  fi-iendly.  The  anxiety  was  relieved  when  it 
became  known  that  Sir  Donald  Stewart's  force 
was  at  Syazabad  on  the  28th  of  April,  and,  with 
that  of  General  Ross,  would  be  at  Argandeh,  within 
fourteen  miles  of  Cabul,  on  the  2nd  of  May. 

General  Ross  en  route  had  not  been  without 
partial  annoyance  from  the  insurgents,  some  of 
whom  had  ventured  to  assault  his  camp  on  the 
25th  of  April,  but  were  dispersed  with  the  loss  of 
sixty  shot  down.  On  the  29th,  Sir  Donald  sent  a 
detachment  to  punish  the  local  chief,  the  Mollah 
Abdool  Guffoor,  of  Langar,  who  had  been  the 
prime  mover  of  the  attack  on  Ross,  and  had  cut 
off  the  post  between  his  camp  and  CabuL 

General  Stewart  had  marched  from  Ghazni  for 
the  latter  place  on  the  25  th  of  April.  Two  days 
before  that,  his  division  had  a  rough  encounter 
with  6,000  Ghilzies,  who  had  occupied  a  strong 
position  at  the  village  of  Orzoo,  a  few  miles  firom 
the  city.  He  routed  them  with  the  loss  of  400 
killed  and  wounded,  while  his  own  casualties  were 
only  two  killed  and  eleven  wounded.  It  was 
afterwards  ascertained  that  this  body  was  but  the 
advanced  guard  of  a  much  larger  force  assembled 
in  the  Shilgar  Valley,  under  the  old  Mollah 
Muskh-i-Allam,  but  all  of  whom  at  once  dis- 
persed to  their  homes  among  the  mountains. 

On  the  2nd  of  May,  Sir  Donald  Stewart  entered 
Cabul  and  took  command,  with  the  general  con- 
trol of  political  affairs.  The  troops  lately  under 
him  were  encamped  at  the  southern  end  of  the 
Logar  Valley,  and  soon  after,  there  moved  through 
it  a  force  of  4,000  strong,  under  Sir  Frederick 

The  troops  in  and  about  Cabul  were  now 
deemed  sufficiently  strong  for  any  operations 
that  were  likely  to  be  undertaken,  but  the  country 
having  been  without  a  settled  government  for 
eighteen  months,  was  in  a  state  of  great  disorder, 
and  teemed  with  armed  and  desperate  men.  The 
population  of  Cabul,  comprising,  as  it  did,  besides 
its  own  ferocious  hudmashes  and  peculiar  rabble, 
the  partisans  of  various  leaders,  each  with  his  own 
private  and  selfish  ambition,  was  always  ready  for 
any  excitement;  and  the  appearance  of  Abdur 
Rahman  on  the  scene  delayed  any  settlement, 
and  seemed  likely  to  lead  to  fresh  complications, 
though   the  Government    were  inclined  to  look 

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with  favour  upon  his  pretensions  to  the  perilous 
post  of  Ameer;  and,  like  a  true  Afghan,  he  no 
sooner  received  Lord  Lytton's  overtures  than  he 
craftily  pretended,  in  a  circular  letter  to  the  chiefs, 
that  the  British  had  offered  him  the  Ameership 
of  all  Afghanistan,  "  as  it  was  ruled  by  his  grand- 
lather,  Dost  Mohammed  Khan."  He  also  thanked 
God  that  the  gates  of  friendship  were  at  last 
open  between  himself  and  the  British,  and  hoped 
to  meet  all  the  chiefs  in  Cabul  shortly. 

Anyway,  though  Lord  Lytton  seemed  to  con- 
sider Abdur  Rahman  the  most  powerful  of  the 
various  aspirants  to  the  throne  of  Afghanistan,  we 
can  scarcely  believe  that  the  proposed  settlement 
was  intended  to  include  the  Kurram  Valley,  the 
Shutargardan  and  Khyber  Passes,  all  won  by  the 
brilliant  valour  of  our  slender  armies.  There  is 
little  doubt  that  Abdur  Rahman  misrepresented 
the  proposal  of  being  offered  a  united  Afghanistan, 
in  the  hope  of  rousing  a  national  feeling  in  case  of 
a  refusal. 

In  one  of  his  despatches  about  this  time,  the 
Viceroy  paid  the  following  tribute  to  the  leader 
and  soldiers  of  the  British  Cabul  Field  Force  :— 

"  The  Governor-General  in  Council  unreservedly 
shares  in  the  appreciation  expressed  by  his  Excel- 
lency the  Commander-in-chief  of  the  high  ability, 
firmness,  insight,  and  judgment  displayed  by  Lieu- 
tenant-General  Sir  Frederick  Roberts  throughout 
the  events  recorded  in  his  admirable  report,  and 
also  of  the  brilliant  conduct  of  the  officers  and  men 
under  his  command,  to  whose  soldier-like  instinct, 
intelligence,  and  courage  on  the  most  critical 
occasions,  the  success  of  the  result  is  largely 

"  The  Governor-General  in  Council  desires  also 
to  add  to  those  of  his  Excellency,  his  grateful 
acknowledgments  of  the  great  humanity  which, 
from  first  to  last,  has  marked  the  conduct  of 
Lieutenant-General  Sir  Frederick  Roberts  in  the 
exercise  of  his  arduous  command,  and  also  to  ex- 
press the  deep  sense  entertained  by  the  Govern- 
ment of  India,  of  the  irreparable  loss  sustained  by 
the  Queen,  and  the  whole  Empire,  in  the  death  of 
the  brave  men  who  have  so  nobly  perished  in  the 
course  of  these  operations." 

But  the  battles  of  Maiwand  and  of  Candahar 
had  yet  to  be  fought ! 



A  GREAT  number  of  raids,  outrages,  and  excite- 
ments, at  the  hands  of  the  hill-men,  occurred  be- 
tween the  date  of  Sir  Donald  Stewart's  arrival  at 
Cabul  and  the  great  crisis  caused  by  the  advance 
of  Ayoub  Khan  fi-om  Herat 

Afghan  politics,  if  we  may  so  call  them,  ran  so 
high,  that  even  mothers  sought  to  imbue  their  chil- 
dren with  them  by  nursery  songs,  and  a  curious 
specimen  of  one  of  these  may  be  quoted  from 
the  Lahore  Gazette  : — 

"Mohammed  Jan  is  the  hero  of  the  field, 

Come,  my  child,  and  let  us  eat  grapes ! 
His  battle  is  now  well  ordered  in  the  field, 

Come,  my  child,  &c. 
Daud  Shah  is  a  mighty  man. 

Come,  my  child,  &c. 
Wall  Mohammed  is  a  devil, 

Come,  my  child,  &c. 
Yakoub  Khan  is  brave  and  staunch, 

Come,  my  child,  &c. 
Musa  Khan  is  the  Ameer  for  Afghan, 

Come,  my  child,  &c. 
Abdur  Rahman  is  the  child  of  the  Russ, 

Come,  my  child,  &c" 

And  so  on,  for  twenty-four  lines  more. 

The  9th  of  May  saw  Sir  Frederick  Roberts  with 
a  strong  force  in  the  Logar  Valley,  to  settle  the 
country  and  collect  supplies.  In  the  Kurram 
Valley,  about  the  same  time,  a  band  of  Wazarees 
attacked  our  post  at  Sappri,  taking  the  little  garri- 
son there  by  surprise.  They  scaled  the  low  walls 
which  surrounded  the  camp,  softly  and  unseen, 
and  then  with  their  usual  yells  and  frantic  cries 
they  fell  with  knife  and  tulwar  on  the  occupants. 

Lieutenant  Wood,  one  of  the  Bengal  police 
officers,  who  had  been  lately  appointed  to  the 
transport  department,  and  was  sleeping  outside 
his  tent,  was  at  once  cut  to  pieces.  Ten  more  were 
killed  on  the  spot,  and  sixteen  were  wounded, 
before  the  assailants  were  driven  off;  and  the  public 
prints  reported  that  "  similar  outrages  were  becom- 
ing matters  of  almost  daily  occurrence  in  Kurram." 

On  the  1 8th  of  May  Sir  Frederick  Roberts 
destroyed  all  the  fortified  towers  of  Padashah 
Khan,  a  Ghilzie  chief;  but  on  the  following  day 
2,000  Safees  rose  in  arms  at  Besi,  but  were  cut  off 
by  a  force  from  Jellalabad,  with  the  loss  of  fifty 

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(Logar  Valley. 

killed,  while  the  British  had  only  ten  wounded. 
In  this  skirmish  General  Doran,  late  commandant 
of  the  27th  Native  Infantry,  commanded.  He 
had  served  in  the  Sutlej,  Hazara,  and  China 
campaigns,  and  was  an  officer  of  experience. 

Two  young  officers  of  the  51st  Foot,  Lieutenants 
B.   S.    Thurlow  and    Herbert  Reid,    when   riding 

The  fortitude  he  displayed  on  this  occasion  was 
brought  before  Parliament  by  Lord  Waveney,  but 
the  Commander-in-chief  did  not  consider  that  any 
special  mark  of  Her  Majesty's  favour  was  called  for. 

In  the  middle  of  June  our  pickets  in  the  Logar 
Valley  w^ere  constantly  fired  into  at  night,  and 
bodies  of  insurgents  held  together  at  Zurmat  and 


about  three  miles  from  their  cantonments,  were  set 
upon  by  some  forty  hill-men.  Thurlow  was  shot 
dead,  his  head  pierced  by  a  bullet  Lieutenant 
Reid's  Cabul  pony  bolted  with  him,  but  as  soon  as 
he  could  master  the  animal,  he  bravely  returned  to 
the  body  of  his  friend,  when  he  was  again  fired 
upon,  a  bullet  tearing  away  his  sleeve  and  part  of 
his  jersey.  Perceiving  that  nothing  more  could  be 
done,  he  rode  back  to  his  post  and  brought  out  a 
detachment,  by  which  the  body  of  the  deceased 
officer  was  recovered  and  saved  from  mutilation. 

Khan\^ar.  A  convoy  was  attacked  on  the  19th, 
near  the  Jugdulluk  Kotal,  and  raiders  were  found 
on  the  railway  line  at  Quettah. 

Amid  this  state  of  things,  and  though  tidings  had 
come  that  Ayoub  Khan,  at  the  head  of  a  force 
advancing  from  Herat,  had  reached  Farah,  Sir 
Donald  Stewart  received  orders,  about  the  loth  of 
June,  to  withdraw  his  forces  with  the  least  deby 
compatible  with  the  health  of  the  troops,  as  "  it  is 
desirable  that  Cabul  should  be  evacuated  not  later 
than  October  31st" 

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Orders  were  also  given  for  the  return  to  India  of 
the  surplus  staff,  stores,  and  ammunition,  which 
might  not  be  required  So  early  as  April  it  had 
been  contemplated  to  withdraw  our  troops  from 
Afghanistan,  and  support  as  the  new  ruler  of 
the  country,  Abdur  Rahman,  nephew  of  the  late 
Shere  AIL 

We  are  told  that  at  this  time  he  was  uncertain  of 
his  power  in  Turkestan,  and  was  anxious  to  know 
what  would  be  required  of  him  by  Britain,  if  he 
assumed  the  responsibilities  of  Ameership ;  for  he 
would  seem  to  have  learned  much  during  his 
residence  in  foreign  territories,  and  was  determined 
to  see  his  way  clearly  before  he  committed  himself. 
"  A  portrait  of  him,  taken  at  Tashkend,"  says  the 
Times^  "  shows  him  to  be  a  big  stout  man,  with  a 
rather  heavy  and  sensual  face,  but  with  a  shrewd 
expression.  He  was  dressed  in  a  sort  of  Russian 
uniform,  and  wore  no  turban  or  Afghan  cap  on  his 
head.  His  manners  are  described  as  singularly 
courteous,  and  he  is  even  eloquent  in  conversation 
He  has  no  confidential  advisers,  and  transacts  all 
his  own  business,  writing  all  important  letters  with 
his  own  hand.  He  is  very  suspicious  of  attempts 
against  his  life,  and  takes  great  precautions  against 
them.  He  has  not  yet  succeeded  in  paying  his 
troops;  but  they  are  well  fed,  and  are  at  present 

Under  date  of  the  loth  June,  we  read  the  follow- 
ing from  General  Hill's  camp  in  the  Logar  Valley. 

"  The  insincerity  of  Abdur  Rahman  in  treating 
with  us  is  clear  from  the  following  circumstances. 
Letters  and  presents  are  constantly  arriving  from 
him  for  the  tribal  chiefs ;  he  has  appointed  our 
great  enemy,  Mohammed  Jan,  to  be  commander-in- 
chief  throughout  Afghanistan.  Sirdar  Alam  Khan, 
our  Governor  at  Ghazni,  while  here,  on  his  way 
back  to  Ghazni,  received  an  autograph  letter 
asking  his  assistance  ;  and  lastly,  he  proclaims  that 
he  was  ready  to  fight  for  the  restoration  of  Yakoub 
Khan,  in  order  to  conciliate  that  faction." 

From  all  these  incidents  it  was  not  difficult  to 
gather  that  some  desperate  work  was  fast  being  cut 
out  for  our  troops  ere  they  left  Afghanistan ;  and 
the  last  week  of  June  saw  another  fight  with  the 
irrepressible  Ghilzies  at  Syazabad,  about  half-way 
between  Cabul  and  Ghazni. 

A  strong  force  of  them  took  post  on  the  side  of 
a  steep  hill,  which  they  fortified  with  sungahs  of 
earth  and  stones.  Out  of  these  they  were  driven 
by  bullet  and  bayonet,  the  4th  Ghoorkas,  the  14th 
Punjaub  Infantry,  and  H.M.  9th  Foot  attacking 
them  with  great  spirit,  in  unbon  with  De  Latour's 

But  the  action  lasted  several  hours,  the  Ghoorkas 

behaving  nobly,  storming  one  sungah  after  another, 
and  driving  the  defenders  up  the  hill  with  the 
bayonet  It  was  towards  the  close  of  this  toil- 
some and  desperate  day's  work,  when  an  active 
little  Ghoorka,  who  was  among  the  advanced 
skirmishers,  had  just  discharged  his  rifle  after  the 
retreating  Ghilzies,  that  two  of  them  started  up 
from  a  shelf  of  rock  just  at  his  feet,  where  they 
liad  lurked  unseen. 

They  were  both  Ghazis — ^fanatics,  who,  in  the 
name  of  Allah,  had  devoted  themselves  to  death  in 
the  service  of  Islam — ^thus,  as  they  believed,  in- 
suring for  themselves  instant  admission  to  the  bliss 
of  Paradise.  One  of  them  instantly  stuck  his 
dagger  into  the  throat  of  the  unfortunate  Ghoorka, 
while  the  other,  by  one  trenchant  stroke  of  his 
tulwar,  cleft  his  head  in  two  to  the  teeth. 

These  actions  were  as  sudden  as  they  were 
determined;  but  so  was  the  retaliation.  Lieu- 
tenant Lome  Govan,  of  the  9th  Foot,  instantly 
slew  one  Ghazi  by  a  stroke  of  his  sword ;  and  the 
other  fell  at  the  same  moment,  shot  by  the 
Ghoorkas,  who  then  drew  their  terrible  kooheries 
or  curved  native  knives,  the  use  of  which  they 
often  prefer  to  the  bayonet,  and  hacked  the 
bodies  of  both  to  pieces. 

Colonel  Rowcroft  commanded  here,  under  the 
orders  of  Generals  Ross  and  Gough. 

By  the  nth  of  July  orders  were  sent  to  our 
Engineers  to  prepare  for  the  demolition  of  the  forts 
we  had  erected  about  Cabul ;  though  at  that  time 
large  numbers  of  the  Khan  of  Khelat's  sepoys  were 
deserting,  and  Ayoub  Khan  was  still  upon  the 
march,  and  tidings  of  his  advanced  cavalry  having 
reached  Backwa  were  causing  excitement  at  Can- 

The  Wali  of  that  city  had  moved  out  to  the 
Helmund,  with  a  body  of  troops,  to  quiet  by  his 
presence  some  of  the  local  tribes,  who  are  ever 
prone  to  violence;  and  now  the  steady  march  of 
Ayoub  rendered  it  necessary  that  the  Wali  should 
be  reinforced  by  a  brigade  of  British  troops,  which 
accordingly  marched  out  of  Candahar  to  his  sup- 
port It  was  then  supposed  that  if  Ayoub  persisted 
in  his  rashness,  the  combined  British  and  Can- 
dahar forces  would  put  a  summary  stop  to  his 
operations,  but  our  officers  now  began  to  remark 
that  it  was  a  curious  coincidence  that  Abdur 
Rahman's  approximation  to  Cabul  was  almost 
simultaneous  with  his  kinsman's  bold  march  fi-om 
Herat  to  C*idahar. 

The  supporting  brigade  was  under  General 
Burrows  and  Colonel  St  John. 

On  the  nth  July  they  reported  that  the 
supplies  were  abundant,  the  Helmund  everywhere 

Digitized  by 


The  Helmniid.  1 



fordable ;  that  the  advanced  column  of  the  Wali's 
troops  was  about  twenty  miles  north-east  of 
Giriskh;  that  Mir  Mohammed  Khan,  a  cousin  of 
the  Wali,  had  attempted  to  incite  the  troops  to 
mutiny,  but  foiling,  had  fled  from  the  camp,  pur- 
sued by  cavalry. 

General  Burrows  and  the  colonel  soon  dis- 
covered that  his  incitements  had  not  been  without 
avail,  and  that  the  troops  of  the  Wali  were  ready 
to  mutiny  at  any  moment,  having  been  greatly 
corrupted  by  a  veteran  regiment,  which  had 
accompanied  him  from  Cabul  in  the  preceding 

Till  now  the  Wali  had  been  under  no  appre- 
hension of  trouble — Giriskh  is  nearly  eighty  miles 
westward  of  Candahar,  and  is  a  post  of  some  im- 
portance on  the  western  bank  of  the  Helmund — 
and  had  felt  confident  when  stationing  his  advanced 
deteu:hment  at  the  place  named. 

The  oflScer  in  command  of  the  reinforcements 
was  Brigadier-General  Reynolds  Scott  Burrows,  of 
the  Bombay  Native  Infantry,  who,  though  he  had 
obtained  his  ensigncy  so  far  back  as  1844,  had  not 
seen  mudi  active  service,  but  enjoyed  the  reputa- 
tion of  being  an  excellent  staff  officer. 

His  small  force  consisted  of  six  Royal  Horse 
Artillery  guns,  with  220  men,  under  Major  Black- 
wood ;  300  sabres  of  the  3rd  Light  Cavalry,  under 
Major  Currie;  220  Scinde  Horse,  under  Colonel 
Malcohnson,  all  dressed  in  the  most  picturesque  of 
military  costumes — ^a  thick  turban,  loose  collarless 
shirt,  and  cummerbund, — their  chief  weapon 
being  a  long  and  deadly  bamboo  lance;  the 
66th  Berkshire  Regiment,  512  strong,  under 
Colonel  James  Galbraith;  the  ist  Bombay 
Grenadiers,  515  bayonets,  under  Colonel  Ander- 
son; 512  of  the  19th  Bombay  Infantry  (known  as 
Jacob's  Rifles),  under  Colonel  Mainwaring;  and 
40  Sappers :  making  a  total  of  only  2,319  men. 

Ayoub  Khan  had  left  Herat  with  4,500  regular 
infantry  and  1,500  regular  cavalry,  with  36  guns 
and  a  considerable  force  of  irregular  horse,  all 
drawn  fix>m  the  most  fierce  and  warlike  of  the 
western  tribes — and  these  were  his  advanced  guard. 
The  proclamation  which  he  scattered  broadcast  as  he 
came  on,  told  the  people  of  the  wealth  and  plunder 
to  be  won  by  the  slaughter  of  the  detested  British. 
A  portion  of  it  ran  thus : — 

"  Soldiers  of  the  true  Faith !  We  march  to  the 
conquest  of  our  city  of  Candahar,  now  in  possession 
of  our  bitter  enemy,  the  Feringhi,  whom  we  will 
drive  back  with  our  steel,  and  win  back  the  capital 
of  the  south.  The  garrison  is  weak  and  we  are 
strong  ;  besides,  we  are  fighting  for  our  homes  and 
native  land,  and  our  foe  is  not  prepared  for  us  with 

either  food  or  ammunition  for  a  siege.  The 
bazaars  of  the  city  are  full  of  British  gold,  and  this 
shall  be  the  prize  of  the  conquerors  when  we  have 
chased  away  the  invaders  from  our  soil  Let  us 
march  on,  then,  day  by  day,  with  the  determination 
to  conquer  or  die ! " 

This  document  was  distributed  in  every  town 
and  village  between  Herat  and  Candahar,  in  the 
hope  of  inciting  the  Ghazis,  or  religious  fanatics,  to 
join  in  a  species  oijehad^  or  holy  war,  against  us. 

On  the  13th  of  July  Colonel  St  John,  our 
political  officer,  obtained  certain  intelligence  of  the 
mutinous  spirit  that  had  infected  the  troops  of  the 
Wali,  and  the  veteran  regiment  in  particular, 
already  referred  to. 

On  the  14th  General  Burrows,  acting  on  this 
information,  ordered  the  Wali  Shere  Ali  to  shift  his 
camp  from  the  west  bank  of  the  Helmund  to  the 
east,  in  close  proximity  to  the  British  troops. 
This  order  was  issued  on  parade  at  daybreak,  so 
their  tents  were  struck  and  baggage  packed  soon 
after  sunrise,  but  that  was  the  immediate  signal  for 

In  a  moment  the  ranks  were  broken,  and  a  rush 
was  made  for  the  Wali's  artillery,  six  6-pounders, 
which  were  on  a  high  bank,  and  they  were  limbered 
up  and  the  horses  harnessed  amid  shouts  of 
vengeance  against  the  Wali  and  his  staff.  He,  with 
the  latter  and  his  cavalry,  withdrew  to  the  east  bank, 
where  our  troops  were  posted.  Meanwhile  his 
infantry,  after  pillaging  the  post  and  baggage, 
began,  with  derisive  shouts,  their  march  along  the 
river  bank  in  the  direction  of  Herat,  with  the  open 
intention  of  joining  Ayoub. 

This  was  about  seven  in  the  morning.  General 
Burrows  sent  an  order  to  our  advanced  camp, 
which  was  about  a  mile  up  the  river,  that  they  were 
to  be  intercepted  There  General  Nuttall,  who 
commanded,  ordered  "boot  and  saddle'*  to  be 
blown,  and  rode  off  with  all  the  available  cavalry 
to  bar  the  progress  of  the  mutineers,  while  a  strong 
detachment  of  the  66th  got  under  arms  to  support 
him,  and  the  3rd  Bombay  Cavalry  made  a  sweeping 
circuit  round  some  hills  on  the  right,  to  hold  them 
in  check  till  our  artillery  came  within  range :  a 
movement  which  they  performed  at  a  swinging 

Meanwhile,  Major  Blackwood  went  galloping 
along  the  east  bank  with  his  guns,  to  choose  avail- 
able ground  from  whence  to  shell  the  enemy,  who 
were  then  hurrying  along,  not  like  disciplined 
soldiers,  but  as  a  disorganised  mob,  their  bayonets 
and  barrels  swaying  and  clashing  against  each 

The  cavalry  now  wheeled  into  line,  and  a  troop 

Digitized  by 




[The  Hekmiid. 

dismounted  to  act  as  skirmbhers,  every  third  man 
holding  three  horses.  Excellent  cover  was  found  in 
rear  of  a  long  ledge  of  rock,  and  the  masses  of  the 
enemy  presented  an  easy  mark  for  the  sharp  carbine 
practice  that  ensued,  under  the  orders  of  Major 
Currie;  and  now  Colonel  Malcolmson,  with  two 
squadrons  of  the  Scinde  Horse,  opened  a  cross  fire 
from  another  flank,  which  had  a  further  demoralis- 
ing effect,  and  the  line  of  retreat  became  dotted 
with  killed  and  wounded. 

At  half-past  twelve,  according  to  the  TimeSy 
Blackwood's  guns,  which  had  been  delayed  by  the 
diflficulty  of  crossing  water-cuts  and  irrigation 
channels,  came  into  action,  as  an  eye-witness  thus 
relates : — 

"  *  Shall  I  give  them  a  shell  or  two,  sir  ?'  inquires 
Blackwood  of  the  general,  who  is  riding  with  the 
battery.  *  By  all  means,'  replies  our  chief;  *  but  be 
careful  of  our  own  people.'  The  guns  now  take 
•action  right,'  are  in  position,  unlimbered,  and 
ready  for  the  word,  and  in  another  moment  a  shell 
is  dropped  into  the  column  of  the  mutineers,  who 
still,  however,  manage  to  retire  along  the  plain, 
though  galled  and  harassed  on  every  side.  Two 
or  three  daring  and  most  effective  charges  made 
by  our  cavalry  now  compel  them  to  form  square, 
and  this  enables  our  shells  to  do  more  execution. 
For  more  than  an  hour  these  tactics  were  repeated: 
a  dropping  carbine  fire,  an  occasional  shell  from 
our  Horse  Artillery,  and  now  and  then,  when  the 
ground  admitted,  a  brilliant  rush  of  turbaned  horse- 
men upon  the  seething  and  broken  masses  of  the 
unfortunate  wretches,  whose  situation  now  became 
desperate.  The  knowledge  that  one  or  more  of 
these  regiments  were  part  of  the  Cabul  garrison 
last  autumn,  and  probably  shared  in  the  massacre 
of  the  brave  Cavagnari,  took  away,  however,  any 
feelings  approaching  to  commiseration  and  pity, 
and  more  than  one  exclamation  of  delight  came 
from  our  gunners  as  the  firing  went  on,  and  became 
more  deadly  as  we  came  to  closer  range." 

It  was  in  this  cavalry  and  artillery  pursuit  that 
poor  young  Hector  Maclaine,  a  lieutenant  of  the 
latter  force,  and  whose  ultimate  fate  was  so  deplor- 
able when  he  fell  into  the  hands  of  Ayoub,  made 
himself  most  active. 

The  course  to  be  followed  at  the  first  lay 
through  a  low  jungle  and  across  some  difficult 
water-courses.  At  the  last  ditch  but  one.  Hector 
Maclaine  got  the  four  leaders  of  one  of  his  guns 
almost  embedded  in  mud,  but  he  extricated  them 
after  great  trouble,  threw  a  quantity  of  timber  that 
chanced  to  lie  near  across  the  ditch,  and  skilfully 
got  his  guns  over  and  into  action  again. 

A  combined  charge  was  now  made  by  Colonel 

Malcolmson  and  Major  Currie,  at  full  speed  with 
headlong  force  and  weight  This  broke  the  columns 
of  the  enemy  in  an  instant,  and  abandoning  their 
guns,  ammunition,  and  everything,  they  scattered 
and  fled,  every  man  racing  for  life,  hotly  pursued 
by  the  lance,  the  sword,  and  many  a  shrapnel 

The  cavalry  surrounded  the  guns,  and  then  a 
smart  fire  was  opened  on  them  by  a  number  of 
mutineers,  who  had  concealed  themselves  unseen 
amid  some  rocks.  They  were  soon  dislodged,  all 
save  a  few  desperate  Ghazis,  who  held  on  well  for  a 
time,  and  then  all  was  over  with  them. 

The  cavalry  pursued  them  for  some  distance,  but 
were  recalled  to  bring  the  captured  guns,  waggons, 
treasure,  and  stores  into  camp.  The  loss  inflicted 
on  the  mutineers — 200  according  to  one  account, 
only  50  according  to  another — ^was  not  particularly 
heavy,  owing  to  the  nature  of  the  ground,  which 
afforded  cover,  and  caused  the  expenditure  of  much 
ammunition  without  eflect ;  but  a  dangerous  body 
of  men,  whose  defection  in  the  hour  of  battle  might 
have  been  most  disastrous,  had  been  dispersed  and 
got  rid  of  for  a  time,  as  of  course  they  all  joined 
Ayoub  Khan,  who  was  still  pressing  on.  Among 
the  slain  men  were  a  colonel  of  artillery  and  two 
captains  of  Cabulee  regiments. 

In  consequence  of  this  defection,  the  plans  (rf 
General  Burrows  were  entirely  altered,  and  on  the 
following  day  he  fell  back  upon  Kushk-i-Nakhud, 
or  "  The  Shepherd's  Tomb,"  where  many  signs  of 
cultivation  were  to  be  seen,  and  where  stands  an 
old  fort,  but  too  dilapidated  to  be  of  use  in  war£u^ 
Our  own  loss  on  the  14th  was  only  three  of  the  66th 
wounded,  and  a  few  horses  killed. 

The  17th  of  July  brought  tidings  that  Abdur 
Rahman  was  advancing  with  troops  and  a  train  of 
sixteen  mountain  guns;  that  the  tribes  were  all 
seething  in  the  south  and  in  other  quarters ;  and  on 
the  following  day,  or  thereabout,  the  17th  Bengal 
Cavalry  quitted  Cabul,  the  first  step  in  the  intended 
retirement;  yet  a  letter  written  from  Safed  Sang 
near  the  city,  on  the  19th,  contains  the  following : — 

"  The  hostility  of  the  Afghans  towards  us  is  not 
only  unabated,  but  is  ever  increasing  in  virulence. 
The  plan  which  the  authorities  have  pursued  of 
*  deporting '  leading  Afghans  to  India  has  excited 
the  bitterest  hostility.  Mohammedan  and  Hindoo 
alike  meet  death  with  even  disdainful  fortitude,  but 
exile  to  a  strange  land  has  for  them  peculiar 
terrors.  Our  correspondent,"  writes  the  Manchester 
Guardian,  "  points  out  that  the  removal  of  Yakoub 
Khan  led  to  the  attack  on  General  Roberts  from 
Cabul,  and  the  expulsion  of  that  officer.  General 
Daud    Shah's    deportation    produced    the    most 

Digitized  by 




dangerous  combination  among  the  Mohmunds  that 
our  forces  have  had  to  deal  with,  and  the  passage 
of  the  Mustoufi,  once  our  most  trusted  agent, 
through  the  Khyber  region,  on  his  way  to  Meerut, 
produced  an  immense  commotion  and  stir  among 
the  tribes,  and  led  to  severe  engagements.  Our 
correspondent  describes  the  sufferings  of  the  troops, 
whether  native  or  European,  from  the  heat  and  ex- 
cessive labour,  njscessitated  by  the  weakness  of  the 
various  garrisons,  and  states  that  if  the  occupation 
is  to  be  prolonged  through  another  winter  it  will 
become  a  very  serious  question  as  to  how  the  troops 
are  to  be  provided  The  mortality  and  invaliding 
consequent  upon  the  terrible  cold  of  the  last  winter 
were  very  great,  and  the  difficulty  in  obtaining 
recruits  from  India  to  fill  up  the  gaps  thus  formed 
in  the  fighting  line  becomes  daily  more  marked. 
It  has  become  necessary  to  look  to  Madras  for  our 
sepoys  instead  of  the  fighting  races  of  the  Punjaub 
and  Upper  India,  and  a  bounty  of  50  rupees,  or 
nearly  ^5,  has  been  sanctioned  for  all  recruits. 
For  a  native  soldier  to  receive  this  amount  on  en- 
listment is  equivalent  to  a  bounty  of  £$0  being 
offered  to  a  recruit  in  Britain." 

Our  troops  at  Kushk-i-Nakhud  found  supplies 
plentiful,  but  wood  scarce.  It  was  there  that  on 
the  26th  of  February  of  the  preceding  year  the 
soldiers  of  Aboo  Bukur  attacked  General  Biddulph's 
rear-guard,  consisting  of  two  squadrons  of  the  3rd 
Scinde  Horse  and  120  bayonets  of  the  2nd 
Beloochees,  and  were  signally  repulsed,  with  the 
loss  of  over  100  men ;  and  there  it  was  that  the 
gallant  Major  Reynolds,  of  the  Scinde  Horse,  was 
killed,  while  charging  at  their  head 

Before  detailing  the  startling  events  that  occurred 
at  Kushk  i-Nakhud  and  Maiwand,  it  may  be  ne- 
cessary to  glance  at  the  military  situatioa 

The  former  place  is  situated  as  nearly  as  possible 
midway  between  Candahar  and  the  Helmund 
River,  and  exactly  at  the  delta  of  the  routes  from 
Girishk  and  Hyderabad,  by  either  of  which  Ayoub 
Khan,   being   now   unopposed,    could  cross    the 

Helmund  at  will  by  its  many  easy  fords.  The 
position  has  been  deemed  bad,  as  it  was  intersected 
by  canals,  water-courses,  and  the  stone  walls  of 
gardens,  vineyards,  and  ruinous  houses,  affording 
easy  cover  to  an  artful  enemy,  who  might  decline 
or  deliver  an  attack  at  his  option. 

Matters  were  already  looking  serious,  as  General 
Burrows'  column  was  now  attenuated  to  not  more 
than  1,600  bayonets,  with  500  sabres  and  ten  guns, 
while  Ayoub — whose  very  name  won  him  favour 
with  the  Mohammedans,  as  it  means  Job,  and  is  taken 
from  that  of  the  standard-bearer  of  the  Prophet, 
who  was  killed  at  the  first  siege  of  Constantinople 
in  668 — had  with  him,  as  reported,  4,000  regular 
infantry,  4,000  Ghazis,  and  4,000  horse,  and  he 
was  not  wanting  in  Russian  officers  to  lead  his 
Afghan  artillery,  and  give  their  European  experience 
in  the  choice  of  positions,  and  how  to  attack  or  de- 
fend them. 

In  Candahar  were  only  the  Poonah  Horse,  the 
19th  and  29th  Bombay  Native  Infantry,  with 
fourteen  guns,  making,  however,  in  all  little  over 
3,000  men,  with  a  small  sick  list  Hourly  they 
waited  with  no  small  excitement  the  arrival  of  news 
from  Kushk-i-Nakhud,  while  hard  at  work  pulling 
down  or  blowing  up,  amid  clouds  of  dust,  and  the 
blaze  and  thunder  of  exploding  mines,  all  those 
houses  too  near  the  ramparts  which  impeded 
artillery  fire,  strengthening  the  gates  by  flanking 
works,  and  restoring  all  trenches  and  gaps.  But 
the  weather  was  fine  and  not  over  hot,  and  on  the 
occasion  when  Colonel  Hills  made  his  final  inspec- 
tion of  the  city  and  citadel,  "  the  evening  sun  was 
setting,"  wrote  one  who  was  present,  "and  the 
horizon  around,  bathed  in  gold  and  purple,  almost 
realised  to  the  eye  those  glorious  Eastern  landscapes 
which  the  pencil  of  Stanfield,  Grieve,  or  Beverley 
gave  to  the  stage  in  spectacular  dramas.  The 
fading  light,  bathing  in  its  warm  tints  the  surround- 
ing verdure,  and  the  glint  of  many  small  streams, 
shone  upon  the  white  walls  of  citadel  and  mosque, 
and  imparted  a  fairy-like  grandeur  to  the  scene." 



Encouraged  by  the  desertion  of  the  Wall's  troops, 
and  by  the  number  of  Ghazis  that  were  joining  him, 
Ayoub  crossed  the  Helmund  at  Hyderabad,  and 
was  still  coining  on.  Accordingly,  a  cavalry  recon- 
naissance set  out  from  the  camp  at  Kushk-i-Nakhud. 

It  consisted  of  two  Royal  Horse  Artillery  guns, 
under  Captain  Ramsay  Slade  and  the  unfortunate 
Lieutenant  Hector  Maclaine ;  a  squadron  of  the 
3rd  (Queen's  Own)  Light  Cavahy  (formerly  the 
4th   Irregular   Horse),   under   Major  Currie    and 

Digitized  by 





Captain  Willoughby  ;  a  squadron  of  the  3rd  Scinde 
Horse,   under    Captain    Gordon    and   Lieutenant 
Monteith — in  all,  only  200  sabres. 
As  the  service  these  men  were  going  on  was 

with  not  an  ounce  of  superfluous  weight,  and  a 
muscle  well  developed  by  constant  lance  and  sword 
exercise  in  the  manage.  The  men  were,  as  a  rule, 
uncommonly  well  mounted,  and  I  was  surprised  to 


most  important,  and  as  there  was  every  chance  of 
them  coming  into  personal  contact  with  some  of 
Ayoub's  well-skilled  and  well-equipped  cavalry, 
Major  Currie  suggested  that  they  should  all  be 
picked  troopers  and  perfect  swordsmen.  Conse- 
quently, as  Major  Ashe  tells  us  in  his  "  Personal 
Records  of  the  Candahar  Campaign,"  "the  men 
were  splendid-looking  specimens  of  the  race  from 
which  they  came :  long-limbed,  lean,  and  sinewy. 

see  such  an  evidence  of  breeding,  as  well  as  sub- 
stance, although  few  of  the  animals  were  up  to 
much  weight  ....  The  men,  as  a  rule,  ride 
well,  depending,  however,  less  upon  the  balance 
than  our  British  troopers,  and  riding  more  with  the 
knees  and  calf,  while  I  particularly  noticed  that 
they  did  not  hang  on  to  the  bridle.  The  bamboo 
lance  in  the  hands  of  these  fellows  b  a  most  deadly 
weapon,  and  their  constant  practice  at  tent-pegging 

Digitized  by 





has  made  them  as  certahi  of  their  mark  as  a  well- 
aimed  bullet  from  a  rifle.  Most  of  these  men  are 
fer  better  swordsmen  than  our  own  troopers,  whose 
cumbersome  sabres,  that  won't  cut  and  cannot 
point,  with  their  heavy  steel  scabbards,  are  not  to 
be  compared  with  the  native  tulwar,  whose  keen 
and  razor-like  edge  enables  its  owner  to  lop  off"  a 
head  or  a  limb  as  easily  as  cutting  a  cabbage." 
It  was  arranged  that  the  sections  of  fours  should 

and  among  them  were  letters  from  Ayoub  to  native 
chiefs,  who  were  then  in  the  British  camp  as 
allies ! 

The  guns  were  in  the  centre  of  the  reconnoitring 
party,  which,  after  a  long  mardi,  halted  within  four 
miles  of  Sanghar,  where  500  of  Ayoub's  cavalry 
had  been  seen  scouting  a  day  or  two  before. 

Vedettes  were  posted,  and  the  troops  breakfasted 
under  the  cool  shadow  of  a  mango  grove ;  but  in 


Aycu9s  March*  — > 

C^mbmU,^  ... ^ 

Boiae  Of  ICHos. 

ro  «M£»i 


always,  if  possible,  consist  of  the  same  men. 
Guided  by  two  Ghilzies,  who  had  narrowly  escaped 
a  pursuing  party  of  Ayoub's  cavalry  over  difficult 
ground,  and  with  whom  they  had  a  deadly  combat, 
on  the  morning  of  the  22nd  July,  Major  Currie's 
reconnoitring  party  quitted  the  camp  in  light 
marching  order  at  two  o'clock  a.m.,  lighted  by  the 
misty  rays  of  a  weird-like  moon,  across  the  face  of 
which  the  black  clouds  were  scudding  before  a  high 
and  gusty  wind 

On  the  dead  body  of  an  Afghan  trooper,  who 
had  been  recently  shot  by  the  Ghilzie  spies,  was 
discovered  a  leathern  despatch-bag,  full  of  impor- 
tant papers,  which  were  sent  to  General  Burrows, 


half  an  hour  after  they  were  mounted  again,  they 
saw  by  the  field-glass  a  large  body  of  horsemen 
moving  slowly  across  the  plain,  their  lance-heads 
and  other  bright  points  glittering  in  the  sunshine. 

Currie  wheeled  his  force  to  the  left,  and  got 
cover  for  it  in  rear  of  a  hillock,  while  the  enemy, 
all  unconscious  of  his  presence,  came  deliberately 
on.  At  the  end  of  this  eminence  there  opened  a 
deep  and  wooded  nullah,  with  rocks  strewn  about 
it,  compelling  the  whole  to  make  a  wide  detour, 
which  eventually  brought  it  face  to  face  with  the 
enemy,  and  within  carbine  range. 

They  at  once  threw  forward  a  body  of  skir- 
mishers, who  advanced  rapidly  across  the  plain  in 

Digitized  by 




[Mai  wand. 

extended  order,  firing  quickly,  but  very  much  at 
random,  from  the  saddle ;  then  Major  Currie 
checked  them  by  a  similar  movement,  but  in  a 
different  manner,  by  making  some  of  his  cavalry 
dismount  in  the  mode  to  which  the  sections  of 
fours  had  been  trained — thus :  No.  3  of  each  sec- 
tion held  the  other  three  horses,  two  on  his  right 
and  one  on  his  left,  which  enabled  him  to  gallop 
quickly  to  the  rear,  when  the  squadron  fought  on 
foot  The  latter,  enabled  to  take  a  better  aim, 
drove  in  the  mounted  skirmishers,  while  the  main 
body  remained  ready  to  charge,  and  the  guns  were 
taken  at  a  rapid  pace  to  the  crest  of  a  hill,  which 
enabled  them  to  command  the  front,  and  enfilade 
the  Afghans  in  flank. 

Taking  advantage  of  every  bush  and  stone, 
Currie's  skirmishers  got  nearer  and  nearer  the 
enemy,  and  every  now  and  then  a  man  or  horse 
went  down,  or  was  conveyed  limping  to  the  rear. 
"  Meanwhile,  in  the  front  of  their  main  body,  com- 
posed of  about  three  hundred  horsemen,  rode  a 
tall  officer,  mounted  on  a  grey  horse  of  remarkable 
size  and  splendid  action.  With  our  glasses,"  says 
Major  Ashe,  "we  could  see  him  snatch  the  standard, 
or  guidoHy  fi-om  the  standard-bearer,  and  evidently 
exhort  his  men  to  follow  him.  At  this  juncture  a 
shell,  well  aimed  from  Slade*s  gun,  dropped  within 
a  yard  or  two  of  the  front  rank.  This  was  enough, 
for  the  line  of  Afghan  skirmishers  wheeled  sud- 
denly round  like  one  man,  and  galloped  madly  to 
the  rear." 

The  main  body  became  thereby  mfected  with  a 
panic,  and  cantered  off  in  confusion  towards  the 
river,  where  a  large  force  of  infantry  were  seen, 
with  some  guns  in  position ;  and  while  they  cantered 
on,  Slade  dropped  a  few  more  shells  into  them ; 
but  as  nothing  more  could  be  done,  and  the  where- 
abouts of  the  enemy  had  been  distinctly  made 
known,  Currie's  reconnoitring  party  returned  to 
camp,  after  having  been  twenty-one  hours  in  the 

Battle  was  now  looked  for  hourly ;  and  day  and 
night  a  vigilant  watch  was  kept,  yet  not  so  vigilant 
but  that  the  enemy  were  enabled  to  surprise  some 
of  the  Scinde  Horse  on  out-post  duty  and  kill  two 
of  them. 

On  the  following  day,  the  enemy's  cavalry  were 
seen  boldly  reconnoitring  in  the  immediate  vicinity 
of  General  Burrows'  camp.  According  to  informa- 
tion supplied  by  Colonel  St  John,  the  political 
officer,  Ayoub  was  still  at  Hyderabad  on  the  23rd, 
but  between  that  date  and  the  27  th,  unknown  to 
our  leaders,  he  had  worked  his  way  secretiy  along 
the  northern  slopes  of  a  range  of  hiUs  that  bounded 
the  plain  where  the  British  camp  stood,  until  he 

reached  Maiwand,  only  three  miles  fi-om  it,  and 
from  whence,  when  the  hour  came,  he  was  able  to 
deliver  his  attack  with  such  force,  and  such  a 
fatal  sequel ! 

Early  in  the  morning  of  Tuesday  the  27th  July, 
Colonel  St.  John,  after  receiving  distinct  information 
of  Ayoub*s  presence  at  Maiwand,  sent  information 
of  it  to  General  Burrows,  who  at  once  gave  orders 
for  an  advance  against  the  enemy.  "Without 
being  taken  by  surprise,"  wrote  an  officer  who  was 
in  the  camp,  "I  may  at  once  say  that  on  the 
previous  evening  no  one  had  the  smallest  idea  of 
the  proximity  of  our  antagonists,  whose  flank 
march,  screened  by  the  hills  to  the  north,  showed 
strategy  of  no  mean  order,  while  on  our  side  the 
unguarded  portal  and  the  pathway  left  on  our  right 
are  faults  that  have  yet  to  be  explained." 

The  regiments  were  formed  in  contiguous 
columns,  and  breakfast — the  last  breakfast  it  proved 
to  many — was  served  to  them  in  the  ranks, 
while  the  cavalry  dismounted  and  the  infantry 
piled  arms  to  partake  of  their  slender  meal,  when 
other  messengers  came  hurrying  in  from  the 
front,  to  reiterate  that  Ayoub's  advanced  guard  was 
really  at  Maiwand,  three  miles  distant  only,  and  in 

At  half-past  eight  in  the  morning,  the  3rd  Scinde 
Horse,  with  two  pieces  of  cannon,  went  out  to  "  feel 
them,"  and  by  nine,  the  deep  hoarse  boom  of  the 
artillery  announced  that  the  duel  had  b^un  between 
these  two  arms  art  the  head  of  the  valley,  the 
avenue  to  which  had  been  somehow  left  open, 
and  so  the  enemy  wtre  feeling  their  way  west- 
ward along  the  slopes  of  the  hills.  The  ground 
Burrows  selected  to  fight  upon  was  not  so  strong 
as  that  occupied  by  the  camp  he  was  leaving,  as 
the  undulating  ground  in  his  front  gave  every 
cover  and  shelter  from  his  fire,  and  their  guns, 
which  took  post  on  the  heights,  and  were  superior 
to  ours  in  number,  soon  told  disastrously  upon  our 
troops  in  front  and  on  the  flank. 

Though  the  cavalry  skirmished  sharply  till  one 
o'clock,  the  battle  was  chiefly  maintained  by  the 
artillery.  Meanwhile,  Ayoub  was  pushing  forward 
out  of  the  valley,  deploying  regiment  after  regi- 
ment into  line,  and  showing  six  brigades  of  ably- 
handled  cannon  in  front ;  seven  regiments  of 
infantry — one  of  which  was,  no  doubt,  the  old 
Cabulee  battalion — formed  his  centre;  on  their 
right  were  400  cavalry;  and  2,000  Ghazis,  with 
more  infantry,  formed  the  left 

There  was  a  corps  de  reserve  of  cavalry  and 
infantry,  with  more  guns,  all  judiciously  posted  on 
the  best  ground  on  the  sloping  sides  of  the  hills, 
and  a  fine  array  the  whole  made  with  their  arms 

Digitized  by 





glittering  in  the  sun,  and  their  colours  and  pennons 
streaming  on  the  wind. 

General  Burrows*  formation  was  thus: — Five 
gunsy  under  Major  Blackwood,  were  posted  at 
intervals  along  the  front ;  five  companies  of  Jacob's 
Rifles,  under  Colonel  Mainwaring,  held  the  extreme 
left;  next  them  were  the  66th,  under  Colonel 
James  Galbraith,  "who,  with  his  Majors,  Oliver 
and  Ready,  had  been  identified  since  boyhood  with 
the  raiment" 

On  the  left  were  the  ist  Bombay  Grenadiers, 
under  Colonel  Anderson,  a  most  popular  officer. 
In  rear  were  the  small  force  of  cavaby,  kept  out  of 
range  of  fire  as  much  as  possible,  and  consisting 
only  of  300  of  the  3rd  Light  Horse  under  Major 
Carrie,  Bud  200  of  the  Scinde  Horse  under  Colonel 

In  fix>nt  of  the  line  was  the  general,  accom- 
panied by  Colonel  St  John,  the  Nawab  Hasan  Ali 
Khan,  Major  Blackwood,  and  the  whole  staff. 

•*  Our  position,  I  must  honestly  own,  was  faulty 
in  th^  extreme,"  wrote  an  officer  who  was  present ; 
•*  but  it  was  made  worse  by  our  slight  entrench- 
ments, and  the  old  Afghan  outposts,  of  which  a 
handful  of  resolute  men  might  have  made  a  second 
Hougoumont  Kushk-i-Nakhud,  a  ruined  village, 
but  offering  a  splendid  ^'n/  d^appui  in  front  of 
our  camp,  should  have  been  held  by  the  native 
r^ments,  as  the  place  could  have  been  entrenched 
in  an  hour,  and  was  flanked  on  the  right  by  the 
mined  Afghan  fort  of  which  I  have  already  spoken, 
and  which,  in  its  turn,  was  again  commanded  by 
the  spur  of  a  hill  on  our  right,  and  which  coign  of 
vantage,  had  we  posted  a  couple  of  guns  ^  there, 
would  have  commanded  the  road  to  Candahar, 
and  secured  us  at  least  a  safe  means  of  retreat" 

The  initiative  was  taken  by  Ayoub's  cavalry, 
which,  accompanied  by  a  few  pieces  of  cannon, 
made  a  feigned  demonstration  against  our  right 
front,  that  would  have  been  unassailable  in  its  old 
position ;  but  the  ruse  was  not  seen  through,  and 
the  already  weak  force  of  Burrows  was  further  im- 
paired by  the  despatch  of  two  guns  and  a  squadron 
of  cavalry,  which  were  drawn  away  by  the  enemy's 
feigned  retreat,  and  were  eventually  captured 

So  it  would  seem  that  General  Burrows,  instead 
of  availing  himself  of  the  natural  features  of  the 
place,  strengthening  them  by  earthworks  and  abattis, 
and  garrisoning  the  ruined  village  and  the  old  Afghan 
fort,  quitted  a  fairly  good  position,  and  pushed 
through  the  open  into  the  trap  prepared  for  him  by 
a  powerfril  adversary,  who  had  carefully  felt  his 
way  westward  along  the  slope  of  the  hills  over- 
looking the  plain. 

When  eleven  o'clock  came,  an  artillery  duel  had 

lasted  for  two  hours ;  but  the  range  was  too  great 
for  it  to  be  effective  on  either  side;  however, 
ultimately,  the  enemy's  guns  were  so  well  served, 
that  the  superiority  of  ours  in  weight  of  metal  and 
rifling  went  for  nothing. 

The  advantages  of  the  ground,  fort,  and  village 
were  neglected,  and  the  order  was  given  for  the 
the  line  to  advance  and  support  the  two  guns  and 
the  squadron  that  had  been  lured  away.  Though 
few  in  number,  our  rifled  9-pounders  were  superior 
in  range  and  accuracy  of  fire  over  the  Afghan 
smooth  bore  artillery,  but  this  became  lost  when  the 
range  was  decreased  to  a  thousand  yards,  for  their 
fire,  when  concentrated,  began  to  tell  fearfully  upon 
our  men  and  horses ;  but  our  breechloaders  made 
greater  havoc  on  the  dense  masses  of  Ayoub's 
infantry,  who  were  armed  with  inferior  firearms. 

This  was  speedily  noticed  by  the  prince  and  his 
sirdars,  so  their  regular  cavalry  on  the  right,  2,000 
strong,  came  thundering  forward  at  the  charge  to 
break  our  left^  while  the  ferocious  and  fanatic 
Ghazis  were  let  loose  on  our  front  and  right 

Ayoub  Khan  seemed  to  have  all  his  wits  about 
him  when  he  expended  in  the  first  attack  the 
enthusiasm  of  this  death-devoted  contingent, 
"  which,  if  restrained  till  some  critical  part  of  the 
engagement,  might  have  resulted,  as  it  has  so  often 
done  in  these  Afghan  fights,  in  their  fatally  impeding 
and  thwarting  the  manoeuvres  of  their  comrades  of 
the  regulars." 

These  stalwart,  muscular,  and  frantic  devotees  to 
the  cause  of  Islam,  in  the  fury  of  their  head- 
long rush,  proved  too  much  for  the  ist  Bombay 
Grenadiers  and  Jacob's  Rifles,  who  began  to  fall 
back,  while  Ayoub,  taking  advantage  of  thus  dis- 
tracting the  attention  of  General  Burrows,  led  some 
regular  regiments  in  column  to  within  three-quarters 
of  a  mile  of  the  camp,  and  under  cover  of  the 
undulating  ground,  when  sufficiently  near  us  sud- 
denly and  skilfully  deployed  them  into  line  on  the 
crest  of  a  ridge. 

General  Burrows,  according  the  editor  of  "  Per- 
sonal Records  of  the  Candahar  Campaign,"  saw  all 
this  when  it  was  too  late  to  undo  the  mischief. 

"  Tell  Colonel  Mainwaring  to  throw  back  his  left 
companies,  or  he  will  be  outflanked,  and  send  him 
a  troop  of  Scinde  Horse,"  said  the  general,  as  he 
shut  his  field-glasses  and  galloped  to  the  right  of 
the  line,  where  the  other  danger,  already  stated, 
was  to  be  encountered,  and  where  the  yelling 
Ghazis,  under  cover  of  an  infantry  fire  and  that  of 
their  high  guns,  on  the  very  ridge  that  we  should 
have  occupied,  on  our  right,  were  hurling  back  the 
two  regiments  of  native  infantry.  Fierce  and  bitter 
was  the  conflict  now  on  both  sides. 

Digitized  by 





Two  of  our  guns  were  captured,  and  recaptured 
by  the  bayonet,  while  piles  of  dead  and  dying  lay 
around  and  between  their  wheels ;  and  in  the  end, 
after  Jacob's  Rifles  were  forced  back  step  by  step, 
by  sheer  dint  of  numbers,  one  of  the  guns  remained 
in  possession  of  the  enemy  permanentiy,  and  was 
turned  by  them  upon  our  recoiling  troops.  Bloody 
indeed  was  the  hand  to-hand  struggle  ere  this  was 
achieved,  and  the  brave  young  Osborne,  who 
fought  that  gun  to  the  last,  died  with  devotion  by 
its  side. 

Though  a  withering  musketry  fire  still  swept  the 
ground  around  the  captured  gun — and  where  the 
dead  and  wounded  lay  the  thirsty  sand  was  red  and 
soaked  with  blood — the  frantic  Ghazis,  courting 
death  as  the  avenue  to  heaven,  came  fearlessly  on, 
the  tallest  and  bravest  fanatics  bearing  their 
standards,  and  the  soldiers  were  fairly  borne  off 
their  feet  by  the  desperate  rush. 

These  Ghazis,  who,  by  themselves,  outnumbered 
our  total  force,  pressed  furiously  upon  the  entangled 
mass  of  native  infantry,  while  the  main  body  of 
their  regulars  came  steadily  on  in  support 

In  the  centre,  the  Berkshire  Regiment  had, 
meanwhile,  alternately  been  ordered  to  lie  down 
and  advance,  thus  escaping  the  fire  of  Afghan 
shells  which  whistled  over  them.  In  the  rear  and 
centre  of  their  line,  clad  in  his  full  uniform,  and 
conspicuous  on  an  iron-grey  Arab,  rode  their 
colonel,  the  gallant  James  Galbraith,  cheering 
them  on. 

"Spare  your  ammunition,  my  lads,"  he  was 
heard  to  cry ;  "  fire  low  and  steadily — give  them  the 
cold  steel ! " 

A  sudden  charge  upon  the  right  centre  was  now 
checked  by  Major  J.  Tobin  Ready  of  the  66th, 
commanding  the  flank  company,  by  wheeling  it  up, 
and  pouring  in  a  fusillade  at  200  yards*  distance ; 
and  with  great  difficulty  he  prevented  his  men, 
flushed  as  they  were  with  success,  from  dashing 
with  their  bayonets  after  the  Afghan  infantry. 

Unhappily  this  success  was  only  that  of  a  minute 
or  two. 

As  our  centre— where  the  66th  "were  fighting 
with  that  majesty  with  which  the  British  soldier  can 
fight,"  as  Napier  said  of  old,  of  the  men  of  Badajoz 
and  Ciudad  Roderigo— moved  forward,  our  right 
and  left  flanks  were  both  weakened  and  compelled 
to  fall  back,  till  Burrows'  position  became  like  a 
two-sided  triangle,  the  apex  being  the  66th,  and  the 
sides  the  Native  Regiments,  already  fearfully  cut  up 
by  the  Afghan  artillery  on  the  heights  to  the 
right  and  left. 

In  short,  the  whole  force  had  advanced  into  a 
cul-de-sac  of  death  and  destruction. 

In  vain  now  did  General  Burrows  send  out 
flanking  parties  to  skirmish  up  the  hills,  which  he 
should  have  occupied  and  held  before  the  batde 
began;  in  vain  did  he  now  seek  to  dislodge  the 
enemy  firom  them ;  while  moving  swiftly  along  the 
ridges,  the  irregulars  of  Ayoub  came  swooping  like 
a  herd  of  tigers  upon  the  baggage  guard,  which  held 
a  walled  enclosure,  and  consisted  of  one  company 
firom  every  regiment 

Suddenly  appearing  in  still  greater  numbers,  the 
Ghazis,  with  heads  stooped  behind  their  shields, 
fell  with  unexampled  fury  upon  the  rearguard, 
causing  great  disorder,  but  a  company  of  the  66th 
restored,  for  a  time,  that  confidence  which  seemed 
to  have  been  shaken  out  of  the  Bombay  Grenadiers 
and  Jacob's  Rifles.  Captains  Walter  Roberts  and 
Lynch,  of  the  66th,  rallied  their  men  so  resolutely 
that  the  baggage  and  stores  were  saved  then,  with 
the  loss  of  a  hundred  killed  and  wounded,  among 
the  former  the  gallant  Roberts  himself.  He  fell, 
sword  in  hand,  over  the  bodies  of  six  Ghazis  whom 
he  had  shot  or  cut  down. 

It  was  now  two  o'clock,  and  the  British  centre, 
where  the  noble  Berkshire  Regiment  held  its  ground, 
was  still  unshaken,  though  still  unsupported  on 
either  flank,  and  their  steady  fire,  directed  by 
Galbraith,  had  now  nearly  pierced  the  Afghan 
centre,  where  piles  of  prostrate  bodies  displayed  its 
dire  effect  The  colonel,  conspicuous  in  his  scarlet 
tunic,  seemed  a  special  mark  to  the  enemy,  and 
within  fiVQ  minutes  he  escaped  nearly  as  many 
bullets.  One  cut  the  crupper  of  his  saddle,  and 
another  passed  through  his  horse's  mane,  others 
grazed  him  perilously  near. 

Bufrows  sent  an  officer,  urging  him  to  dismount 

"  No,  my  dear  fellow,"  he  replied ;  "  duty  tells 
me  my  men  should  see  their  colonel  as  they 
always  see  him  on  parade,  mounted  and  con- 
spicuous not  only  to  them  but  to  the  enemy." 

Ayoub  had  brought  up  a  couple  of  guns  to 
enfilade  our  weakened  right  flank,  and  had  moved 
up  his  regular  infantry  to  make  a  charge  under 
cover  of  their  fire.  Early  in  the  day  Galbraith  had 
seen  the  importance  of  this  position,  and  asked  to 
be  permitted  to  occupy  it  by  two  companies  of  his 
devoted  66th,  with  two  guns,  but  was  refused- 
"  The  ground  we  should  have  held,"  says  Major 
Ashe,  "was  abandoned  to  the  foe,  and  our  men 
were  assailed  from  the  very  point  where  we  should 
have  galled  and  thrown  back  the  enemy.  While 
this  manoeuvre  was  being  carried  out  by  Ayoub, 
our  cavalry  and  artillery,  being,  I  must  own, 
somewhat  badly  posted,  suffered  severely;  while 
Galbraith,  an  officer  of  much  Indian  experience, 
made  his  men  lie  down  to  avoid  the  terribly  hot 

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fire  which  now,  from  rifle  and  smooth  bore,  from 
9  and  12  pounders,  poured  its  shells  upon  us.  At 
this  time — ^half-past  two — all  I  could  see  of  our 
position  was  as  follows  : — O* :r  cavalry  and  artillery 
were  doing  but  little,  being  in  both  cases  terribly 
out-numbered  by  the  enemy,  who  rained  shot  and 
shell  upon  us  till  the  horrors  of  Sedan  seemed,  on 
a  smaller  scale,  to  be  revived.  *  Oh,  for  one  hour 
of  Roberts  I '  cried  one  of  the  subalterns,  as  with 
boy-like  insouciance  he  lit  a  cigarette  and  felt  his  six- 
shooter  and  sword.  *  We  are  in  a  mess ;  but  a  man 
who  could  handle  troops  like  old  Oakes,  or  Sayer, 
or  Val  Baker,  would  get  us  out  of  this  rat-trap  ! ' " 

By  three  o'clock  Ayoub  Khan  delivered  his  final 

Alone,  of  all  our  force,  had  the  Berkshire  Regi- 
ment pushed  steadily  on  through  masses  of  cavalry 
and  infantry  and  hordes  of  Ghazis  armed  with 
tulwar  and  shield,  yelling  and  shouting  like  fiends 
on  all  sides.  Galbraith,  on  his  grey  Arab,  was 
bareheaded  now,  a  stroke  fi-om  a  sword  having 
knocked  off  his  helmet,  for  which  the  giver  of  the 
stroke  suffered  dearly.  He  cheered  on  his  men, 
and  shoulder  to  shoulder  the  steady  British  line — 
the  narrow  apex  of  the  broken  triangle — through 
the  hordes  of  turbaned  Ghazis,  through  the  rolling 
smoke,  through  the  lurid  light  of  the  blazing  gun- 
fire and  bursting  shells— went  up  the  fatal  slopes, 
where  many  were  to  leave  their  bones  for  ever. 

Burrows,  to  do  him  justice,  did  all  a  brave 
soldier  could  do  to  retrieve  the  falling  fortunes  of 
this  most  fatal  day ;  and  had  one  other  battalion  of 
Britons  been  in  the  field,  the  story  of  Maiwand  had 
been  different  Galbraith  and  his  senior  major, 
Valentine  Oliver,  finding  themselves  well  to  the 
firont  and  alone  now,  with  only  four  companies,  on 
a  deadly  ridge  swept  firom  flank  to  flank  by  thirty 
guns — placed  and  pointed,  it  was  shrewdly  suspected, 
by  Russian  gunners — saw  that  their  only  chance  of 
escaping  annihilation  was  to  fall  back  upon  what 
had  been  their  camp ;  and  thus,  at  three  o'clock, 
they  found  themselves  near  it  on  the  Candahar 
road,  the  point  fi-om  which  they  had  started  in  the 
morning,  but  completely  cut  off  from  the  artillery 
and  cavahy. 

These  400  men  fell  back  in  splendid  order, 
under  a  fire  fi-om  more  than  4,000  rifles,  that  were, 
luckily,  alike  ill-aimed  and  ill-sighted.  They  did 
so  by  alternate  wings,  Galbraith  commanding  one 
and  Oliver  the  other.  Twice  the  cavalry  came 
thundering  on,  with  lances  and  tulwars  glittering 
through  clouds  of  rolling  dust,  and  twice  in  clear 
English  rang  out  the  orders — 

"  On  the  centre  sections — form  square  !  Prepare 
for  cavalry ! " 

While  sheets  of  flame  and  lead  came  from  the 
rear  ranks,  the  flashing  bayonets  of  the  front  bore 
back  both  horse  and  man,  and  many  an  Afghan 
cavalier,  in  all  his  glittering  bravery,  rolled  with  his 
turbaned  head  in  the  dust,  while  riderless  chargers 
galloped  madly  away  on  every  hand. 

Fast  fell  our  soldiers  as  this  sad  day  wore  on. 
All  the  force  was  falling  back  on  the  camp.  The 
left  wing,  where  Jacob's  Rifles  had  been  posted 
with  two  guns,  was  in  hopeless  disorder,  the 
skeleton  companies  of  the  66th  alone  holding  the 
enemy  in  check.  Galbraith  fell  while  leading  the 
rear-guard  on,  and  Majors  Oliver  and  Ready  were 
both  badly  hit 

The  heroic  Galbraith  was  last  seen  on  the  bank 
of  a  nullah,  wounded,  and  compelled  to  kneel  on 
one  knee,  with  one  of  the  regimental  colours  in  his 
hand,  with  his  officers  and  men  rallying  bravely 
and  devotedly  round  him,  and  there  his  body  was 
afterwards  found.  Here,  too,  fell  Captain  Hamilton 
MacMath,  who,  had  his  life  been  spared,  would 
have  won  high  distinction  in  the  service.  Close 
by  him  Lieutenant  Harry  Outram  Barr  was  shot 
dead  across  his  colour.  Captains  Stephen  Garrett 
and  James  Cullen  were  both  killed  while  command- 
ing their  companies  and  giving  their  orders  coolly, 
as  if  upon  parade.  Captain  Roberts  was  mortally 
wounded,  as  we  have  said,  in  the  garden.  There 
also  fell  Lieutenants  Rayner,  Chute,  Olivey,  and 
Honywood.  The  last  two  were  seen  holding  the 
colours — laden  with  nine  Peninsular  honours — the 
pole  of  one  being  shattered — as  rallying  points. 
Honywood  was  shot  dead  while  holding  the 
colours  high  above  his  head  and  shouting,  "  Men, 
what  shall  we  do  to  save  this  ?  " 

Sergeant-Major  Cuppage  was  shot  down  while 
carrying  a  colour,  and  many  other  oflftcers  and  men 
perished  in  attempting  to  save  those  treasured 
emblems,  the  colours  of  their  regiment — the  old 
66th  of  gallant  memory,  a  regiment  dating  from 


On  the  regiment,  or  what  remained  of  it,  falling 
back  from  that  fatal  ridge,  the  enemy  had  further 
developed  his  attack,  advancing  not  only  on  the 
flanks,  but  in  front  and  rear,  although  the  fire  of 
the  Berkshire  told  heavily.  Ayoub's  reserve  came 
suddenly  from  behind  the  hills,  with  hordes  of 
yelling  Ghazis  in  front  Jacob's  Rifles,  which  were 
attempting  to  cover  the  left,  were  completely  rolled 
up,  and  fled  to  the  rear  of  the  66th,  carrying  with 
them  the  band  of  that  regiment. 

"My  children,  for  heaven's  sake,  form  square 
and  keep  steady ! "  cried  Colonel  Anderson  to  his 
Grenadiers  in  Hindostanee. 

But  it  was  too  late,  and  the  Ghazis  were  so  close 

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upon   them  that  they  dashed  their  very  shields 
against  the  soldiers'  faces. 

The  infantry  had  now  become  separated,  as  we 
have  said,  from  the  cavalry  and  what  remained  of 
the  artillery ;  so  now  some  remnants  of  the  former 
force,  66th  men,  Jacob's  Rifles,  and  Bombay 
Grenadiers,  made  a  species  of  desperate  rally  in  an 
enclosure,  which  measured  eighty  feet  each  way. 

down  masses  of  stone  upon  the  swarms  of  assailants 
who  still  came  pouring  on,  "and  in  a  few  mo- 
ments," wrote  one,  "  we  were  grappling  these  lithe 
and  sinewy  fanatics  by  their  throats  and  beards, 
and  knives  and  bayonets  contended  in  the  deadly 
clash.  Twice  did  we  beat  them  back,  hurling 
their  bodies,  alive  or  dead,  over  our  shelter  walls, 
while  the  shouts  of  defiance  given  by  our  men 


with  walls  twenty  feet  high,  wherein  the  sick  and 
stores  had  been  deposited  ;  but  the  whole  story  of 
the  battle  becomes  more  confused  than  ever. 

It  would  seem  that  the  fire  of  our  soldiers  began 
to  slacken,  owing  to  the  scarcity  of  ammunition, 
while  that  of  the  enemy  became  hotter  and  more 
galling  than  ever  on  the  enclosed  building,  and 
the  Ghazis  were  thus  emboldened  to  come  to  closer 
quarters.  They  made  a  rush  upon  the  northern 
and  eastern  faces  of  the  building,  and  a  desperate 
hand-to-hand  struggle,  with  sword,  bayonet,  and 
clubbed  musket  took  place  within  it. 

On  the  walls  stood  our  brave  officers,  hurling 

were  met  by  yells  of  rage  from  our  assailing 

A  little  hope  was  given  the  defenders  when  they 
saw  that  one  of  our  guns  had  escaped  the  enemy 
and  had  opened  fire  on  them  when,  luckily,  they 
had  no  cannon  in  that  quarter.  Our  artillerymen 
worked  it  nobly  and  with  deadly  effect,  but  so 
quickly,  that  by  continual  firing  it  became  too  hot 
to  be  serviceable,  and  it  fell  into  the  hands  of  the 

More  Ghazis  were  now  seen  crawling  from  a 
neighbouring  gorge,  ready  to  hurl  their  fury  upon 
the  enclosure,  a  movement  which  struck  a  panic 

Digitized  by 


M«i>vax.uj  Rally  ot  the  BKiiibH. 




Digitized  by 





into  the  hearts  of  the  sepoys,  who  now  clamoured 
to  be  led  forth  to  meet  them  in  the  open.  General 
4  Burrows,  who  had  faced  all  this  carnage,  and  stood 
'  amidst  the  hottest  fire  with  the  unflinching  courage 
of  a  genuine  British  officer,  vainly  called  on  them 
to  imitate  the  dogged  courage  of  the  66th;  but 
the  panic  increased,  and  fearing  it  might  infect  the 
latter  corps,  he  decided  to  make  a  retreat  along 
the  Candahar  road,  lest  all  should  be  destroy^ 
where  they  stood.  As  the  report  of  Colonel  St 
John  gave  it,  "  after  a  severe  fight  in  the  enclosed 
ground.  General  Burrows  succeeded  in  extricating 
the  infantry,  and  brought  them  into  line  of  retreat" 

Meanwhile  he  gave  no  account  of  the  non-com- 
batants, who,  to  the  number  of  some  thousands, 
weje  streaming  wildly  along  the  open  road,  en- 
deavouring to  save  the  baggage  ;  and  with  this 
stream  of  fugitives  the  remnants  of  our  infantry 
were  soon  mingled. 

Our  cavalry,  however,  were  still  charging  the 
enemy,  and  the  Royal  Artillery  stuck  bravely  to 
the  last  gun  they  retained  in  that  quarter.  Two 
were  cut  down  beside  it ;  a  third  was  brained  by  a 
matchlock  ;  a  fourth,  when  the  Ghazis  clung  to  the 
wheel  to  prevent  it  from  being  carried  off,  was 
saved  only  by  the  valour  of  Major  Blackwood,  who 
was  then  desperately  wounded,  and  of  whom  it  was 
said  **  that  not  a  better  soldier  or  braver  man  ever 
served  the  Queen."  But  the  gun  was  lost,  and 
from  that  moment  all  became  a  confused  and 
disastrous  flight 

Major  Blackwood  fell  soon  after.  He  was  the 
son  of  Major  Blackwood,  formerly  of  the  59th 
Bengal  Native  Infantry,  and  latterly  a  partner  of 
the  well-known  Scottish  publishers  of  the  same 
name.  With  him  in  this  last  desperate  effort  there 
perished  Lieutenants  T.  R.  Henn  of  the  Royal 
Engineers,  and  William  Hinde  of  the  ist  Bombay 
Native  Infantry. 

In  forwarding  some  documents  to  Simla,  Lieut - 
General  Primrose,  commanding  the  ist  Division 
in  Afghanistan,  wrote  thus  . — 

"  I  have  it  on  the  authority  of  a  colonel  of  the 
artillery  of  Ayoub  Khan,  who  was  present  at  the 
time,  that  a  party  of  the  66th  Regiment,  which  he 
estimated  at  100  officers  and  men,  made  a  most 
determined  stand  in  a  garden.  They  were  sur- 
rounded by  the  whole  Afghan  army,  and  fought  on 
till  only  eleven  men  were  left,  inflicting  enormous 
loss  upon  the  enemy.  These  eleven  charged  out 
of  the  garden,  and  died  with  their  faces  to  the  foe, 
fighting  to  the  death.  Such  was  the  nature  of  their 
charge  and  the  grandeur  of  their  bearing,  that 
although  the  Ghazis  were  assembled  round  them 
not  one  dared  to  approach  to  cut  them  down. 

Thus  standing  in  the  open,  back  to  back,  firing 
steadily  and  truly,  every  shot  telling,  surrounded 
by  thousands,  these  eleven  officers  and  men  died  ; 
and  it  was  not  until  the  last  man  had  been  shot 
down  that  the  Ghazis  dared  to  advance  upon 
them.  He  further  adds  that  the  conduct  of  these 
men  won  the  admiration  of  all  who  witnessed  it* 
Thi6  was  the  testimony  of  a  man  who  witnessed 
the  scene,  and  gave  the  information  before  Brigadier- 
General  Daubeny  proceeded  to  Maiwand.  From 
an  examination  of  the  ground,  fi^om  corroborative 
evidence,  and  from  the  position  in  which  the  bodies 
were  found,  I  have  not  the  least  hesitation  in  stating 
that  this  account  is  true;  and  I  think  his  Excel- 
lency will  agree  with  me  when  I  say  that  history 
does  not  afford  a  grander  or  finer  instance  of 
gallantry  and  devotion  to  Queen  and  country  than 
that  displayed  by  the  66th  Regiment  on  the  27  th 
of  July,  1880." 

It  was  a  repetition  of  the  awftil  Afghan  tragedy 
that  occurred  near  Jugdulluk  in  184 1  at  Lai  Teebah, 
or  the  Hill  of  Blood,  as  it  is  now  named. 

As  evening  was  drawing  near,  the  Afghan  cavalry 
poured  in  fast-increasing  masses  over  the  hills, 
when  they  saw  the  relics  of  Burrows'  force  streaming 
out  of  the  enclosure,  jostling  and  hindering  each 
other  in  confusion  at  its  gate.  Their  squadrons 
were  on  the  hills  that  skirted  one  side  of  the  pass 
into  which  Burrows  had  been  lured  early  in  this 
fatal  day,  and  a  few  of  ours  were  still  lingering  on 
the  opposite  acclivity,  when  the  gallant  Currie  who 
commanded,  saw  the  former  preparing  to  attack 

He  had  by  him  but  a  few  files  of  his  noble 
Scinde  troopers — few  but  undismayed — and  at  the 
head  of  these  he  boldly  faced  the  vast  mass  of  the 
enemy,  who  were  led  by  a  tall  Afghan,  covered 
with  gold  embroidery,  and  by  whose  side  rode  the 
bearer  of  a  gold  and  blue  standard,  that  had  been 
conspicuous  amid  the  carnage  all  day. 

"  Follow  me— charge ! "  cried  Currie,  brandishing 
his  sword,  and  he  pierced  through  and  through  the 
enemy's  cavalry  as  if  they  had  been  a  bank  of 
smoke,  fairly  rolling  them  up ;  but  soon  the  roar 
of  musketry,  the  booming  of  heavy  artillery,  and 
the  smoke  and  dust  that  obscured  the  clear 
evening  sky,  announced  that  Ayoub  had  brought 
up  men  of  other  arms  to  support  his  cavalry,  y^ 
Currie  charged  more  than  once  to  enable  the 
fugitives  to  attempt  some  formation  on  the  Can- 
dahar road. 

But  the  Afghan  cavalry  seemed  mysteriously  to 
increase  in  numbers,  as  they  issued  from  nullahs 
and  hollows  where  they  had  lain  in  ambush,  and 
spreading  over  the  open,  cut  down  all  they  could 

Digitized  by 





overtake,  spearing  the  wounded  as  they  passed 
them ;  and  a  few  unfortunate  creatures  who  had 
taken  refuge  in  the  musjid  or  tomb  of  an  Afghan 
santon,  800  yards  from  the  road,  were  surrounded 
and  slaiightered  therein  to  a  man. 

The  very  road  was  slippery  with  blood,  and  all 
along  it  was  a  fierce  tide  of  flying  men,  and  on  every 
side  were  heard  yells  and  oaths,  shouts,  curses, 
and  the  bellowing  of  laden  camels,  with  incessant 
random  shots  in  the  rear.     The  troops  were  with- 

our  ammunition  was  captured ;  in  fact,  all  that  was 
saved  was  what  the  men  were  enabled  to  carry 
with  them  from  the  field.  We  had  been  savagely 
attacked  on  leaving  our  entrenchments,  and  how 
we  escaped  annihilation  is  yet  a  mystery.  In  two 
hours  we  had  only  accomplished  about  six  miles  of 
our  wretched  journey,  as  we  had  to  face  about 
and  defend  ourselves  at  every  bend  and  turn 
of  the  road,  and  it  was  impossible  not  to  fore- 
see   and    foretell    in    the    horrors    that    we  saw 

PLAN  OF  THE  BATTLE  OF  MAIWAND  OULY  27,    1880). 

out  water,  and  by  some  terrible  fatality,  the  Can- 
dahar  road  indicated  by  the  general — the  upper 
one — vras  not  taken,  but  the  lower,  which  at  that 
season  is  always  utterly  without  it 

"  Not  until  two  hours  after  we  had  started  did 
we  commence  to  realise  the  helpless  nature  of  our 
condition,"  wrote  an  officer  who  was  present  "  We 
had  been  under  arms  since  daylight,  about  four 
a.m.,  and  it  was  now  six  p.m.  We  had  been  march- 
ing and  fighting  against  an  overwhelming  enemy 
since  nine  a.nL,  and  had  been  thoroughly  beaten, 
leaving  about  half  our  force  killed  upon  the  field, 
with  two  of  our  guns  lost,  and  the  colours  of  the 
66th  and  Bombay  Grenadiers  taken.     Nearly  all 

around  us,  the  fate  that  might  yet  be  in  store  for 

At  the  head  of  this  disconsolate  and  desperate 
column,  all  with  their  horses  wounded  and  bleeding, 
rode  Colonel  Mainwaring,  commanding  what  was 
called  the  advanced  guard,  with  Major  River  and 
Colonel  Griffiths;  Burrows  had  the  centre,  doing 
all  he  could  to  cheer  and  encourage  his  men,  and, 
sooth  to  say,  on  that  memorable  27th  of  July, 
wherever  fighting  had  been  most  desperate,  there 
had  Burrows  been  found,  and  while  two  horses 
had  been  shot  under  him,  he  escaped  without  a 
wound,  and  during  this  terrible  night  retreat  he 
had  been  able  to  save  more  than  one  wounded 

Digitized  by 




[[Man.  and. 

man  by  placing  him  en  croupe  upon  his  horse.  By 
his  side  rode  Captain  Grant  and  Lieutenant  Lynch, 
both  wounded 

General  Nuttall,  with  the  remnants  of  his  cavalry, 
had  the  rear-guard. 

In  silence  and  depression  the  troops  now  struggled 
onward,  frenzied  by  burning  thirst  after  a  long  day 
of  such  toil  and  fierce  excitement ;  and  strong  men 
and  weak  lads  alike  threw  themselves  down  in 
despair.  Order  and  method  gradually  departed 
amid  the  gloom  of  night;  soldiers  and  camp  fol- 
lowers were  all  huddled  together  "in  one  inex- 
tricable mass  of  moaning  and  agonised  humanity." 

Nearly  all  the  horses  were  wounded  or  lame, 
and  had  their  tongues  fevered  and  blistered  with 
thirst  Such  were  a  few  of  the  horrors  of  the 
retreat  to  Candahar ! 

Nine  thousand  Afghans  were  close  upon  them, 
and  closer  still  were  three  thousand  swift  Heratee 
horse,  that  more  than  once  rode  through  the 
fugitive  masses,  cutting  them  down  till  their  sword 
arms  ached,  after  thirty  miles  of  massacre  and 
pursuit  If  any  soldiers  ever  reached  Candahar, 
they  owed  their  safety  to  the  fact  that  Ayoub's 
horsemen  spent  their  strength  upon  the  defenceless 
non-combatants,  and  that  so  much  of  their  flight 
was  by  night  The  pursuit  was  continued  to  within 
ten  miles  of  General  Primrose's  camp,  along  a  way 
littered  with  torn  and  plundered  baggage,  dead 
cattle,  and  stiffening  corpses. 

There  were  but  two  brief  halts  during  this 
terrible  night,  and  on  both  occasions  the  Afghans 
attacked  mercilessly.  Hoaz-i-Madad  Khan,  six- 
teen miles  from  the  field,  was  reached,  and  just  as 
the  troops  struggled  through  the  villages  there,  the 
enemy,  taking  advantage  of  the  grey  dawn,  pressed 
upon  the  rear,  till  General  Nuttall  delivered  a 
brilliant  charge,  with  the  few  troopers  he  had  left, 
and  further,  by  a  ruse,  punished  the  pursuers. 

Hearing  the  clatter  of  hoofs  along  the  road  rear- 
ward, he  posted  fifty  of  his  least  tired  men  and 
horses  in  ambush,  and  the  plot  succeeded  well 
As  the  last  lagging  camel  or  two  was  sighted, 
the  Afghans  made  a  dash  forward  at  a  gallop. 
The  infantry  in  rear  opened  files,  and,  to  their 
astonishment,  let  them  pass  through;  but  the 
moment  the  last  horseman  passed  the  files  were 
closed  and  drawn  up,  with  bayonets  fixed  and 
front  ranks  kneeling,  across  a  road  impassable  for 
cavalry,  and  bounded  on  both  sides  by  high  rocks. 
A  volley  was  poured  into  them  ;  on  this  they  tried 
to  escape  by  a  flank  movement  through  a  vineyard, 
when  Nuttall's  ambush  charged  and  cut  them  down 
to  a  maa 

Five  miles  farther  on,  where  the  column   de- 

bouched upon  a  plain,  it  was  again  overtaken,  and 
then  most  of  the  baggage  was  seized  and  the  camp 
followers  cut  to  pieces. 

Seven  miles  westward  of  Candahar,  on  the  road 
to  Herat,  is  a  place  called  Kokeran;  and  there, 
fortunately  for  Burrows'  fugitives,  they  were  met  by 
a  small  force,  whose  presence  enabled  those  who 
were  at  the  head  of  the  column,  when  almost  dead 
with  fatigue  and  thirst,  to  struggle  through  the 
Herat  Gate  of  the  city. 

"  Meanwhile,"  writes  a  correspondent,  "  along 
the  road  between  Kokeran  and  Candahar  the  sun 
rose  upon  a  long  string  of  stiffened  corpses, 
and  the  ghastly  remains  of  those  who  had  fallen 
out  from  sheer  exhaustion.  One  paramount  desire 
animated  those  who  still  pressed  on,  though  all 
order  was  lost,  and  soldiers  and  camp  followers, 
men  and  officers,  mules  and  baggage-animals,  guns 
and  ammunition  carts,  pushed  on  confusedly  to 
the  front  Surging  backwards  and  forwards,  this 
seething,  bleeding  and  dust  -  stained  mass  of 
humanity,  made  up  principally  of  the  miserable 
crowd  of  camp  followers,  who,  in  their  agony  and 
terror,  overwhelmed  the  handful  of  the  66th,  who 
were  still  showing  a  bold  front,  gave  a  mark  to  the 
enemy,  which  they  took  advantage  of  with  their 
long  juzails  firom  the  neighbouring  cliffs." 

Our  losses  on  that  disastrous  27th  of  July  and 
the  subsequent  retreat  were  as  follows : — 

Europeans  killed — Officers,  20;  non-commis- 
sioned officers  and  men,  290;  total,  31a  Euro- 
peans wounded — Officers,  8;  non-commissioned 
officers  and  men,  42  ;  total,  50. 

Natives  killed — Officers,  1 1 ;  non-commissioned 
officers  and  men,  643 ;  total,  654.  Natives 
wounded — Officers,  9,  non-commissioned  oflScers 
and  men,  109;  total,  118. 

Followers,  killed,  331 ;  wounded,  7.  Horses, 
killed,  201 ;  wounded,  68. 

The  total  number  of  killed  and  missing  amounted 
to  1,302 ;  and  among  the  few  who  unhappily  fell 
into  the  hands  of  Ayoub  was  Hector  Maclaine,  o( 
the  Artillery,  whom  he  kept  a  close  prisoner,  and 
took  about  with  him  from  place  to  place. 

Almost  all  the  ammunition  was  lost,  together  with 
400  Martinis,  700  Sniders,  and  the  two  9-pounders. 
But  it  must  be  borne  in  mind  that  we  had  only  six 
pieces  of  cannon,  opposed  to  the  thirty-six  of  the 
Afghans,  by  whom,  shortly  after  the  action,  the 
telegraph  wires  to  Bombay  were  cut;  but  not 
before  General  Primrose,  commanding  in  Canda- 
har, had  sent  home  the  tidings  of  our  defeat 

For  conspicuous  bravery  at  Maiwand,  the 
Victoria  Cross  was  bestowed  on  Sergeant  Patrick 
Mullane    and   Gunner   James  CoUis,  bpth  of  the 

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Royal  Horse  Artillery.  In  the  former  instance, 
the  award  was  made ;  for  endeavouring  to  save  the 
life  of  Driver  Pickwell  Istead.  The  non-com- 
missioned officer,  when  the  battery  to  which  he 
belonged  was  on  the  point  of  retiring,  and  the 
enemy  were  within  fifteen  yards,  unhesitatingly 
ran  back,  and  lifting  up  Istead,  placed  him  on  the 
limber,  when,  unfortunately,  he  died  of  his  wounds 
almost  immediately.  Again,  during  the  retreat, 
Seigeant  MuUane  firequently  volunteered  to  pro- 
cure water  for  the  wounded,  and  succe^ed  in 
doing  so,  by  going  into  one  of  the  viU^es  in 
which  so  many  men  lost  their  lives. 

In  the  second  instance,  the  Cross  was  bestowed 
on  Gunner  Collis,  for  conspicuous  bravery  during 
the  retreat;  when  the  officer  commanding  the 
battery  was  endeavouring  to  bring  on  a  limber  with 
wounded  men  under  a  cross  fire,  he  ran  forward 
and  drawing  the  enemy^s  fire  on  himself,  thus 
attracted  their  attention  from  the  limber. 

The  dead  were  not  all  buried  till  about  the  17  th 
of  September,  and  their  identification  was  as 
painful  a  task  as  ever  fell  to  the  lot  of  soldiers  to 
perform.  Upon  the  line  of  retreat  146  were 
found  and  buried.  In  the  enclosed  gardens, 
where  the  last  stand  was  made,  and  the  two  pairs 
of  colours  were  lost,  122  were  buried.  The 
villagers  had  already  buried  those  who  fell  on 
the  actual  field  of  battle ;  and  though  the  graves 
were  opened,  for  the  somewhat  useless  purpose  of 
identification,  and  the  bodies  re-interred  according 
to  nationality  (though  many  are  supposed  to  have 
been  overlooked),  the  approximate  number  was 
40a  Besides,  the  sirdar  of  Khelat-i-Ghilzie 
reported  that  he  buried  100  elsewhere. 

Representatives  of  all  the  regiments  were  present 
at  the  identification,  which  was  conducted  by 
Lieutenant  Beresford-Pierse,  of  the  66th.  The 
Burial  Service  of  the  Church  of  England  and  the 
Catholic  Funeral  Mass  were  read,  the  Rev.  Mr. 
Cane  and  the  Rev.  Father  Jackson  officiating. 
The  band  of  the  7th  Fusiliers  played  the  "  Dead 
March  in  Saul;"  and  then  the  rifles  of  their 
comrade  poured  three  farewell  volleys  over  the 

dead,  and  a  high  cairn  was  erected  in  a  conspi- 
cuous position  on  the  field. 

Many  dead  were  totally  unaccounted  for;  they 
must  have  straggled  away  from  the  line  of  retreat, 
and  died  in  lonely  places,  or  been  murdered  among 
the  hills.  The  horses  were  all  left  unburied ;  and 
in  the  enclosures,  where  the  fighting  was  hottest, 
the  ground  was  ploughed  up  by  shot  and  strewn 
with  exploded  shell,  the  debris  of  waggons,  harness, 
accoutrements,  and  remnants  of  uniforms.  **We 
have  counted  400  graves  of  the  enemy's  regular 
troops,"  says  the  report  "Those  of  the  Ghazis 
are  scattered  everywhere,  and  many  were  carried 
away  to  die  in  the  villages  round.  The  natives 
state  that  their  loss  was  almost  fabulous." 

Ayoub  Khan's  victory  was  curiously  celebrated 
at  Cabul  by  his  mother,  performing  her  son's 
marriage  to  three  beautiful  ladies,  to  whom  he  was 
betrothed,  by  what  is  called  the  ceremony  of  the 
sword — the  sword  in  this  case  representing  the 

The  result  of  the  unfortunate  battle  of  Maiwand 
caused  some  recrimination  and  dispute  among 
the  officers  in  command,  and  led  to  two  courts- 
martiaL  One  on  the  gallant  Major  Currie,  and  the 
other  on  Colonel  Malcolmson.  Generals  Nuttall 
and  Burrows  were  the  chief  witnesses  against  the 
former,  who  was  accused  of  misbehaviour  before 
the  enemy,  when  ordered  to  detach  a  troop  to 
succour  the  rear-guard  during  the  retreat,  having 
"proceeded  with  another  troop  required  for  duty 
at  a  distance  from  the  enemy,  instead  of  going  to 
the  post  of  honour  and  covering  the  retreat" 

It  was  a  vexatious  charge,  of  which  he  was 
honourably  acquitted. 

That  against  Colonel  Malcolmson  was  chiefly 
for  having  out-marched  the  retreating  force,  and 
for  openly  advising  the  abandonment  of  the  guns 
and  baggage.  The  chief  witnesses  in  this  case 
were  also  Generals  Burrows  and  Nuttall.  The 
Indian  press  unanimously  deplored  the  prosecu- 
tion of  Colonel  Malcolmson,  who,  however,  was 
honourably  acquitted  ;  while  General  Burrows  was 
removed  from  the  Brigade  Staff. 

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is6  BRITISH  BAttLES  ON  LAND  AND  SEA.  Cm«w«j. 






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At  Candahar,  the  arrival  of  the  first  portion  of  the 
broken  column,  chiefly  composed  of  camp  followers, 
their  terror-stricken  and  woebegone  aspect,  with  their 
excited  accounts  of  what  had  taken  place,  spread 
an  alarm  and  positive  panic  through  the  entire 
city;  and  such  was  the  confusion,  that  sentinels 
quitted  their  posts  and  guard-rooms  were  emptied ; 
public  offices  and  stores  were  abandoned  by  their 
keepers  and  occupants,  an  impression  having  gained 
ground  that  a  bloodthirsty  foe,  flushed  with  con- 
quest, was  already  at  the  gates  ;  and  now  for  a  last 
glance  at  the  closing  episodes  of  the  retreat 

The  rear  of  the  whole  was  now  protected  by  250 
cavalry,  and  two  Horse  Artillery  guns,  under 
Burrows  and  Nuttall,  who  left  nothing  undone  to 
save  the  wounded  and  the  weary  from  falling  into 
the  hands  of  the  merciless  foe,  between  Kokeran 
and  the  Herat  Gate,  by  having  them  placed,  as  they 
fell  exhausted,  on  the  guns  and  Cabul  baggage- 
ponies,  which  remained 

On  a  steep  crag  overlooking  a  portion  of  the  road, 

where  the  rear-guard  determined  to  make  its  last 
stand,  a  large  body  of  Ghazis  were  swarming  now ; 
and  on  its  all  but  inaccessible  summit,  they  had 
actually  contrived  to  get  one  of  their  lighter  guns 
into  position.  Each  body  of  Ghazis  was  as  usual 
led  by  a  chief,  having  a  distinguishing  banner. 

Shell  after  shell  from  this  gun  came  crashing 
downward  into  the  disordered  mass  which  was 
wearily  defiling  below  and  unable  to  return  the  fire, 
though  a  deep  ravine  protected  them  from  rifle  shot. 
In  this  deadly  emergency.  Major  Tobin  Ready,  of 
the  66th,  volunteered  to  dislodge  the  foe. 

Taking  with  him  only  fifty  men,  all  that  could  be 
spared,  he  bravely  ascended  the  heights,  the  nature 
of  the  ground  fortunately  concealing  his  move- 
ments, until  he  had  gained  a  footing  for  his 
devoted  little  band  within  200  yards  of  the  mob  of 
fanatics,  who  were  intently  firing  on  the  column. 

Crossing  the  height,  Ready  softly  and  secretly 
got  his  men  lodged  in  rear  of  some  rocks,  all 
breathless  but  full  of  ardour  to  avenge  the  fall  of 

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their  beloved  colonel  and  so  many  gallant  com- 
rades, "  As  the  caps  of  our  *  Berkshires '  appeared 
upon  the  ledge  of  rocks  to  the  right  of  where  the 
enemy  were  posted,  and  as  they  dashed  at  the 
Ghazi  standards,  a  ringing  cheer,  such  as  Britons 
alone  can  give,  went  forth  from  our  stormers, 
whose  hearts  were  evidently  in  their  work,  and 
would  take  no  denial  to  what  they  had  resolved  to 

Their  hearty  cheers  from  such  an  unexpected 
quarter,  smote  the  Ghazis  with  sudden  dismay; 
they  recoiled  before  the  little  but  steady  line  of 
avenging  bayonets,  and  went  leaping,  plunging,  and 
tumbling  down  the  rocks  in  all  directions,  while 
their  standards  were  captured,  and  the  stragglers 
below  were  enabled  to  continue  their  march  un- 
molested In  this  last  affair.  Colonel  St.  John  had 
his  horse  shot  under  him,  and  Burrows  was  seen 
galloping  wherever  the  fire  was  hottest,  men  falling 
the  while  by  his  side  on  every  hand ;  and  it  was 
with  intense  relief  that  the  survivors  of  his  force 
found  themselves  at  last  in  the  old  cantonments 
of  Candahar,  which  are  about  a  mile  and  a  half 
westward  of  the  city,  and  situated  on  the  road  to 

They  consisted  of  three  great  blocks  of  barracks, 
built  east  and  west,  with  an  enclosure  of  forty-three 
acres,  called  the  Sappers'  Garden,  and  were  about 
forty  years  old.  Here  General  Primrose  com- 
manding in  Candahar,  had  his  head-quarters  ;  and 
preparations  were  at  once  made  to  resist  any 

In  round  numbers,  he  had  only  3,000  men  as  a 
garrison ;  but  felt  confident  that  he  could  hold  out 
till  relieved  by  Generals  Phayre  or  Roberts,  and 
yet,  if  both  failed  him,  he  knew  that  every  British 
soldier  in  Candahar  would  be  mercilessly 
slaughtered  if  the  city  was  taken.  He  had  ten 
Artillery  guns,  the  Poonah  Horse,  the  7th  Fusiliers, 
the  19th  and  29th  Bengal  Native  Infantry,  while 
the  remnants  of  Burrows'  troops  made  up  his  little 

Roberts  was  still  far  away  in  Cabul,  thus  it  was 
expected  that  the  immediate  succour  would  come 
from  General  Phayre,  who  held  Quettah  and  the 
posts  along  the  line,  with  six  battalions  of  Bengal 
Infantry,  three  regiments  of  cavalry,  three  com- 
panies of  Sappers,  and  three  batteries  of  Artillery. 

The  anxiety  for  our  small  garrison  in  Khelat-i- 
Ghilzie,  was  great  at  this  time.  There  Colonel 
Tanner  had  with  him  only  one  Bombay  regiment, 
two  companies  of  the  66th,  and  a  few  cavalry  and 
artillery.  As  far  back  as  the  i6th  of  July,  Ayoub 
had  written  to  the  villages  around  the  fort  threaten- 
ing them  with  fire  and  sword  if  they  sold  supplies 

of  any  sort,  as  he  was  about  to  drive  the  British 
out ;  and  a  formidable  Ghilzie  chief  in  the  vicinity 
named  Mohammed  Aslam  Khan,  was  supposed  to 
be  in  secret  communication  with  Ayoub. 

Now,  once  again,  as  in  1839  and  1842,  Candahar 
was  to  be  the  scene  of  important  operations  by  the 
British  troops.  The  capital  of  an  extensive  province 
of  the  same  name,  it  has  a  fortress  near  it  on  a  pre- 
cipitous rock,  and  which,  before  the  introduction  of 
cannon,  was  deemed,  like  many  others,  impregnable. 
In  very  early  times  it  was  the  residence  of  a  Hindoo 
prince,  mentioned  in  Sanscrit  poetry  as  the  Rajah 
of  Gandhara.  Ferrier  says  that  it  was  one  of  the 
seven  cities  built  in  the  interior  of  Asia  by  Alexander 
the  Great,  and  it  is  said  to  have  been  called  from 
the  Gandharas,  who  migrated  from  the  westward 
of  the  Indus  in  the  fourth  century.  Under  the 
Parthians  and  Sassanides,  its  history  is  enveloped 
in  darkness,  till  the  successors  of  Mohammed  in- 
vaded Persia. 

In  the  first  age  of  the  Hegira,  the  Arabs  pene- 
trated to  it  "In  the  year  of  the  Hegira,  304 
(a.d.  916),  in  the  Caliphate  of  Moktader,  when 
digging  for  the  foundation  of  a  tower  at  Candahar, 
a  subterranean  cave  was  discovered,  in  which  were 
about  1,000  Arab  heads,  all  attached  to  the  same 
chain,  which  had  evidently  remained  in  good  pre- 
servation since  the  year  of  the  Hegira,  70,  for  a 
paper  with  this  date  was  found  attached  by  a 
silken  thread  to  the  ears  of  the  twenty-nine  most 
important  skulls,  with  their  proper  names." 

Major  Le  Mesurier,  of  the  Engineers,  in  his 
work  on  "Candahar  in  1879,"  mentions  that  he 
saw  a  moimd,  which  might  once  have  been  a 
tower,  from  which  some  earth  had  fallen  away, 
disclosing  several  skulls.  This  was  at  the  northern 
part  of  the  old  city,  and  just  before  mounting  the 
steps  leading  to  the  old  shrine  where  the  stone 
leopards  are ;  Nadir  Shah  destroyed  the  old  city, 
after  a  siege  of  eighteen  months,  and  put  the 
garrison  to  the  sword,  and  founded  Nadirabad  two 
miles  to  the  south-eastward  On  the  assassination 
of  this  great  conqueror  in  1747,  it  fell  into  the 
hands  of  Ahmed  Shah,  during  whose  life  it  was  the 
capital  of  the  Afghan  monarchy,  but  on  the  dis- 
memberment of  the  latter,  the  brothers  of  Dost 
Mohammed  Khan  established  themselves  at  CabuL 

In  the  days  of  Elphinstone,  Candahar  was  sup- 
posed to  contain  100,000  souls,  but  its  population 
is  perhaps  less  than  half  of  that  now.  In  form 
the  city  is  an  oblong  square,  enclosed,  according 
to  one  account,  by  a  mud  wall  27  feet  high,  26 
feet  thick  at  the  base,  and  14  feet  thick  at  the  top, 
with  a  ditch  9  feet  deep ;  but  according  to  another, 
by  an  outer  wall  10  feet  high,  18  feet  thick,  with 

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a  chemin  des  rondes  i8  feet  wide  and  20  high,  and 
also  a  covered  way  30  feet  wide.  All  the  leading 
Duiani  families  have  houses  here,  and  many  of 
them  are  large  and  elegant  Near  the  palace  stands 
the  tomb  of  Ahmed  Shah,  with  a  cupola  richly 
gilded  and  painted  (see  p.  168).  He  restored  the 
ancient  name  of  the  city,  which,  standing  as  it  does 
on  the  great  road  between  India  and  Persia,  soon 
became  wealthy  and  prosperous. 

Villages  cluster  round  Candahar  on  three  sides  ; 
cornfields,  vineyards,  orchards,  and  luxuriant 
gardens,  make  a  veritable  oasis  of  the  plain,  which 
is  girdled  by  rugged  hills  and  desert  wastes,  though 
through  a  gap  in  the  former,  the  beautiful  Argandab 
Valley  may  be  seen  stretching  for  miles,  with  its 
canals  glittering  in  the  sunshine,  and  its  lovely  river 
banks  teeming  with  fertility;  and  at  the  time 
Primrose  was  making  his  preparations,  the  Indian 
com,  clover,  barley,  lucerne,  mulberry  and  poplar 
groves,  and  the  red  rose  trees  in  all  their  perfec- 
tion and  beauty,  adorned  the  landscape  around 

But  watch  and  ward  had  to  be  surely  kept  now, 
for  hourly  our  sentinels,  when  watching  the  vista  to 
the  east,  where  the  plain  of  Candahar  opens  into 
the  Argandab  Valley,  expected  to  see  the  ciouds 
of  dust  that  would  announce  the  approach  of 
cavalry,  and  behind  them  the  great  army  which 
success  and  fanaticism  had  mustered,  sweeping  up 
from  the  orchard  lands  and  willow-bordered  stream, 
in  hope  to  plunder  a  city  now  enriched  by  our 
occupation  of  eighteen  months. 

Into  the  citadel  the  general  withdrew  all  his 
troops,  deeming  the  cantonments  untenable.  The 
strength  of  the  fortress  and  the  peculiarities  of  its 
construction  were  such  as  to  banish  any  fear  of  not 
holding  it  till  relief  came,  either  from  Quettah  or 
CabuL  Not  only  were  the  outer  walls  of  vast  thick- 
ness, but  the  citadel  itself  was  a  complication  of 
formidable  earthworks,  behind  which  a  disciplined 
garrison  could  easily  hope  to  defy  an  unscientific 
assault.  No  less  than  forty  miles  of  telegraph  wire 
were  used  in  making  entanglements  without  the 
walls,  and  all  the  gates  were  plated  with  iron. 

Such  was  the  labyrinth  of  walls  within  walls,  that 
even  after  several  days*  residence  there,  our  officers 
were  oflen  perplexed  in  making  their  way  from 
point  to  point  The  city  is  built  close  up  to,  and 
under,  the  external  fortifications,  and  from  the 
cover  of  these  close  buildings  an  attacking  force 
could  ply  their  batteries  at  the  closest  range,  and 
even  perhaps  effect  a  breach,  but  then  they  would 
have  to  encounter  a  series  of  defences  all  in  rear  of 
each  other,  and  of  great  strength.  Though  lying 
as  it  does  upon  the  plain,  and  open  to  shell  fire  on 

one  side  from  high  hills,  it  was  confidently  hoped 
that,  with  its  subterranean  magazines  and  intricate 
walled  enclosures,  the  citadel  of  Candahar  would 
withstand  the  most  desperate  assaults  of  the 

By  the  nth  the  defences  were  completed,  and 
all  buildings  outside  that  might  afford  cover  to  an 
attacking  force  had  been  demolished ;  and  with  the 
exception  of  fresh  meat,  all  kinds  of  provisions  were 
abundant  Afghans  found  in  the  city  were  ex- 
pelled, lest  they  might  open  the  gates  to  the  enemy, 
and  in  revenge  they  set  fire  to  the  cantonments,  and 
so  destroyed  the  property  that  the  officers  had  been 
compelled  to  leave  in  their  rooms.  This  conflagra- 
tion was  rather  perilous  work,  as  the  barrack 
buildings  were  all  mined. 

From  the  day  of  the  battle  of  Maiwand,  spies, 
scouts,  and  patrols  kept  General  Primrose  well 
acquainted  with  the  movements  of  Ayoub,  who,  on 
the  night  of  the  27th,  had  bivouacked  on  the  field, 
and  assigned  to  his  cavaby  and  the  Ghazis  the  task 
of  pursuing  the  fugitive  force  of  Burrows. 

On  the  4th  of  August  he  had  reached  Kokeran 
— a  walled  village  with  a  fort — by  slow  stages,  a 
mode  of  advance  caused  by  the  motley  nature  of 
his  levies,  which  swelled  in  number  day  by  day,  as 
the  news  of  his  success  became  talked  of  in  the 

He  had  promised  his  followers  the  sack  of 
Candahar,  and  had  he  advanced  without  delay,  it 
is  possible  that  he  might  have  accomplished  his 
purpose ;  but  his  troops  were  now  beginning  to  hang 
back,  and  the  opportunity  for  striking  an  effectual 
blow  slipped  from  them.  Quarrels  arose,  rival 
bodies  fired  into  each  other,  and  Ayoub  is  said  to 
have  been  wounded  while  endeavouring  to  quell 
this  disturbance.  Nevertheless  the  tribes  to  the 
south  of  Candahar,  on  hearing  of  our  defeat  were 
all  up  in  arms,  and  the  small  British  posts  on  the 
line  from  Quettah  were,  in  several  instances,  com- 
pelled to  fall  back  and  unite  for  common  protection. 

Our  outpost  at  Sibi  was  suddenly  attacked  by  the 
Murrees  and  Pathans  of  the  surrounding  hills. 
They  fell  upon  a  convoy,  retiring  with  railway 
stores  and  a  treasure  chest,  in  a  pass  near  Gun- 
dakin  Duff,  and  after  killing  sixteen  soldiers  and 
twenty  coolies,  carried  off  the  baggage  the  latter 
were  escorting,  with  ;^i 5,000  in  cash.  This  was 
considered  rather  a  startling  episode,  as,  though  the 
hill-men  of  Afghanistan  have  always  been  prone  to 
rob  and  murder,  the  Murrees  had  for  years  past, 
under  the  rigorous  rigime  of  Sir  Robert  Sandeman, 
abandoned  their  old  predatory  habits.  Sibi,  an 
isolated  firagment  of  Afghanistan,  situated  in 
Beloochistan,  was  the  experimental  terminus  of  a 

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feRltlSH  feAftLES  ON  LAND  AND  SKA. 


line  of  railway  which  it  was  hoped  would  one  day 
run  between  India  and  Candahar, 

On  the  isth  of  August  about  2,000  Afghans, 
belonging  to  the  Kakkar  tribe,  made  a  night  attack 
upon  our  post  at  Kuch.  Their  onslaught  was 
delivered  suddenly  and  furiously,  but  the  garrison, 
consisting  of  300  men  of  the  i6th  Bombay  Native 
Infantry,  under  Colonel  Pierce,  repulsed  them  with 
great  loss. 

On  the  following  day  our  detached  camp  at 
Kachamadan  was  attacked  at  four  in  the  morning 
by  another  body  of  Kakkars,  who  were  defeated 
with  the  loss  of  80  killed. 

By  the  nth  of  August  Ayoub  was  in  front  of 
Candahar,  having  still  on  his  hands  the  unfortu- 
nate prisoner,  Hector  Maclaine.  He  had  with  him 
37  guns,  of  which  six  were  12-pounder  Armstrongs, 
and  about  5,000  infantry,  2,000  cavalry,  and  a 
number  of  Ghazis,  averaging  about  5,000  men. 
He  proceeded  to  throw  up  siege  works,  which 
were  stated  to  be  of  an  insignificant  character. 
He  began  at  once  to  practice  against  the  city  with 
his  Armstrongs,  as  if  his  gunners  were  seeking  out 
the  exact  range.  This,  and  the  erection  of  earth- 
works, showed  that  a  siege,  rather  than  an  assault, 
was  contemplated,  and  by  the  middle  of  the  month 
the  city  was  almost  surrounded.  The  telegraph 
wires  were  cut  in  every  direction,  so  thus,  for  a 
time,  Candahar  was  isolated  from  the  rest  of  the 

From  his  guns  on  the  hills  Ayoub  sent  shot  and 
shell  into  the  city  every  day.  On  the  15th  Father 
Jackson's  little  Catholic  chapel  was  turned  into  a 
hospital,  and  his  services  were  conducted  in  a  tent 

On  that  day,  as  there  was  still  no  appearance  of 
relief  coming,  an  inner  defence  was  constructed 
round  a  part  of  the  city.  It  consisted  of  sacks  of 
sand  and  60,000  sacks  of  flour;  "but  as  we  use 
up  a  number  of  these  daily,"  wrote  one  of  the 
besieged,  "  the  wall  will  not  long  retain  its  present 

A  messenger,  who  got  out  of  the  city  and 
reached  Quettah,  informed  the  general  there,  that 
Primrose  had  on  his  hands  382  sick  and  wounded. 

Ayoub  Khan  was  not  destitute  of  military  skill. 
He  was  ten  years  younger  than  his  cousin  Abdur 
Rahman,  whom  we  had  placed  upon  the  throne, 
and,  whether  from  training  at  European  hands,  or 

his  own  intuitive  knowledge,  evinced  no  small  skill 
in  handling  his  troops  among  their  native  mountains, 
and  in  adapting  the  villagers  who  joined  him  to  act 
as  skirmishers.  Accustomed  from  childhood  to  the 
use  of  arms  and  scenes  of  bloodshed,  simple  and 
abstemious  in  their  mode  of  life,  ever  in  the  oi>en 
air  upon  the  sides  of  their  giant  mountains, 
inured  to  toil  and  as  reckless  of  their  lives  as  of 
the  lives  of  others,  these  men  were  capable  of  an 
amount  of  endurance  that  far  overbalanced  the 
regular  formations,  the  severe  drill  and  ordinary 
conditions  of  our  well-trained,  but  weedy,  boyish 
short-service  soldiers. 

He  had  devoted  adherents  and  keen  spies  in 
every  village,  who  made  him  acquainted  with  every 
effort  we  made  to  obtain  supplies  of  food  and 
forage,  and  the  many  details  which  accompany  the 
often  artificial  wants  of  a  European  army.  "  Our 
long  lines  of  elephants,  camels,  bullocks,  carts 
transporting  huge  tents,  together  with  tables, 
chairs,  waterproof  clothing,  tinned  meats,  and 
other  unwieldy  and  unnecessary — so  we  think — 
items  of  our  military  equipment,"  says  a  writer  at 
the  time,  "give  him  enormous  advantages  in  our 
present  struggle.  But  when  to  these  impedimenta 
we  add  the  hordes  of  native  followers,  outnumber- 
ing, by  a  large  percentage,  our  actual  fighting  men, 
vast  allowances  must  be  made  for  any  mistake 
which  a  well-meaning,  but  not  brilliant,  British 
leader  may  commit" 

General  Primrose  estimated  Ayoub's  strength 
before  Candahar  at  10,000  men,  but  this  number 
was  greatly  increased  by  fresh  arrivals. 

In  opposition  to  the  advice  of  his  sirdars  he 
refused  to  deliver  an  assault,  on  the  somewhat 
easily  met  excuse,  that  he  had  no  scaling-ladders, 
and  that  he  must  breach  the  walls  with  his  cannon 
before  he  could  venture  to  storm  the  city.  His 
resolution  intensely  dissatisfied  the  Heratees  and 
all  who  sided  with  them  and  were  impatient  for 
slaughter  and  pillage ;  so  many  of  them  left  his 
camp,  and  set  out  on  their  way  homewards  in 
sheer  disgust 

General  Phayre,  CB.,'  at  Quettah,  was  still 
unable  to  move  for  want  of  a  commissariat  train, 
and  from  the  beleaguered  citadel  of  Candahar 
General  Primrose  continued  to  look  in  vain  for 
succour  from  the  east 

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We  are  indebted  to  the  "  Personal  Records,"  so 
ably  edited  by  Major  Ashe  (late  of  the  King's 
Dragoon  Guards),  for  some  vivid  glimpses  of  what 
was  passing  in  Cabul,  while  Primrose  was  waiting 
and  watching  at  Candahar. 

All  things  seemed  to  indicate  a  probable  evacua- 
tion of  Afghanistan,  and  many  believed  that  the 
moment  we  did  so  the  party  of  Mohammed  Jan, 
which  was  then  holding  aloof,  would  fight  our 
nominee,  Abdur  Rahman.  Most  valuable  was  the 
presence  of  our  troops  in  Cabul  to  the  Ameer,  and 
they  kept  matters  quiet  till  his  own  plans  were 
matured;  and  the  Indian  Government  began  to 
think  it  was  on  the  eve  of  a  satisfactory  settlement 
of  affairs,  and  that,  in  supporting  Abdur  Rahman, 
they  had  found  an  Afghan  sirdar  with  whom  an 
agreement  was  desirable  and  possible,  before  our 
troops  retired  to  what  was  popularly  known  as 
"  the  new  and  scientific  frontier." 

But  if  Lord  Lytton  was  careful  to  promise  little, 
Abdur  Rahman  was  too  cunning  and  cautious  a 
politician  to  pledge  himself  to  much  until  he  felt 
himself  secure  upon  the  throne ;  and  when  the 
Marquis  of  Ripon  became  Viceroy  he  wisely 
resolved  to  carry  out  the  negotiations  which  his 
predecessor  had  inaugurated. 

About  the  i8th  of  July,  the  same  time  when 
117  captured  guns  from  Cabul  were  received  by  a 
triumphal  parade  of  our  whole  garrison  at  Rawul 
Pindee,  Abdur  Rahman  arrived  at  a  place  called 
Charikar,  a  littie  distance  from  Cabul,  where  an 
oflScer,  who  visited  him,  describes  his  great  tent  as 
resembling  a  marquee,  divided  into  an  audience- 
hall,  dining-room,  and  two  chambers,  carpeted 
with  Afghan  rugs,  and  guarded  by  200  men, 
armed  in  every  conceivable  manner,  with  battle- 
axes  and  round  shields  of  hide  and  metal,  chasse- 
pots.  Martinis,  Minie  rifles  and  matchlocks. 

Two  days  afterwards  a  formal  meeting  was 
arranged  between  him  and  Sir  Donald  Stewart,  the 
Governor  of  Cabul,  at  a  spot  a  little  way  west- 
ward of  the  Sherpur  cantonments,  where  he  was 
received  by  a  guard  of  honour,  with  the  Queen's 
colours,  and,  with  a  manly  air  and  bearing,  he 
made  a  speech,  in  which  the  following  passage 
occurred : — 

"  An  exile  for  fifteen  years,  I  now  see  my  native 
mountains  again,  and  have  obtained,  through  God 

and  my  right,  my  hereditary  birthright — the  throne 
of  my  fathers.  But  the  means  by  which  this 
success  has  been  achieved,  are  due  to  my  British 
friends,  and  to  the  Empress,  whose  cause  is  always 
just  On  my  right  I  see  the  general  to  whose 
generous  diplomacy  I  owe  my  present  position,  and 
ungrateful  should  I  be,  were  I  not  now  to  express 
my  regard  and  esteem  to  one,  who  like  myself,  is 
a  soldier  more  than  a  politician." 

The  Viceroy,  on  the  3rd  August,  issued  orders 
to  Sir  Frederick  Roberts  to  march  from  Cabul  with 
a  relieving  force  of  all  arms  to  Candahar,  a  distance 
of  318  miles,  through  a  mountainous  country, 
peopled  by  fierce  and  warlike  tribes,  each  or  all  of 
which  might  at  any  moment  start  into  hostility  and 
seek  to  bar  his  way — a  country  of  rocks,  ravines, 
and  primeval  jungles,  where  wheeled  carriage  has 
never  been  known,  even  for  artillery  in  the  field. 

"  At  last !  at  last !  Our  orders  have  arrived,  and 
our  work  is  cut  out  for  us!"  was  the  exclamation  of 
Sir  Frederick,  over  whose  face  a  glow  of  delight 
spread  as  he  read  the  despatch  from  Simla. 

He  ordered  the  camp  equipage  to  be  reduced  to 
a  minimum,  by  allotting  ten  British  soldiers  to  each 
mountain-battery  tent,  usually  intended  to  hold  six, 
and  fifty  to  each  sepoy  tent,  of  which  the  usual 
number  is  thirty-two.  Thirty-four  pounds  of  kit 
were  permitted  to  each  British  soldier,  and  twenty 
to  each  native;  one  mule  to  each  officer,  and 
one  to  each  mess  of  eight  members. 

The  force  to  be  marched  was  made  up  as  follows : 
— Cavalry  :  the  9th  Lancers ;  3rd  Punjaub  Cavalry ; 
3rd  Bengal  Cavalry,  and  Central  India  Horse; 
1,615  men.  Artillery:  two  Royal  Artillery 
batteries,  and  one  mountain  battery ;  608  men 
and  eighteen  guns.  Infantry  :  2nd  battalion  60th 
Rifles  ;  the  Albany  and  Gordon  Highlanders;  15th 
Sikhs ;  23rd  Pioneers ;  24th  and  25  th  Punjaub 
Native  Infantry ;  2nd,  4th  and  5th  Ghoorkas ; 
2nd  and  3rd  Sikh  Infantry;  7,490  men.  There 
were  10,484  chargers,  mules  and  other  baggage 
animals  to  be  foraged  for;  and  with  these  were 
8,134  native  followers. 

The  ammunition  carried  by  the  ordnance  park 
amounted  to  236  rounds  per  gun,  and  100  rounds 
per  rifle,  the  remainder  being  in  regimental  charge. 

Carefully  did  Roberts  study  all  the  details  for  his 
splendid  march,  one  of  the  finest  achievements  in 

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military  history.  Thirty  days'  mm,  tea  and  sugar, 
with  five  days'  flour  were  allotted  to  the  Europeans, 
and  the  same  proportion  of  rice  was  reserved  for 
the  natives;  with  23,000  pounds  of  attah,  and 
28,000  pounds  of  grain — the  former  for  the  men, 
and  the  latter  for  the  animals.     And  as  it  happened 

of  an  Arab  fanatic.  He  served  in  the  Persian  Cam- 
paign, at  the  batde  of  Khooshab  and  the  capture 
of  Mohammerah.  "It  was  in  the  advance  on 
Lucknow,"  says  a  London  print,  "  from  the  Char- 
bagh  Bridge,  on  the  25th  of  September,  1857,  that 
Macpherson   won  the  most  precious  guerdon   of 


to  be  known  that  the  autumn  crops  of  Indian  corn  in 
the  Logar  Valley  were  now  well  grown,  a  plentiful 
supply  of  green  forage  would  be  found  on  the  march. 

Roberts's  column  moved  into  the  camp  near  Cabul 
on  the  6th  of  August,  only  three  days  having  been 
consumed  in  making  full  preparations. 

The  two  Highland  regiments — both  renowned 
in  song  and  story — with  the  gallant  6oth  Rifles,  made 
up  only  1,800  British  bayonets  in  all.  The  three 
infantry  brigades  were  commanded  by  Brigadiers 
Baker,  Macgregor  and  Macpherson,  the  latest  an 
ofl^cer  of  very  great  experience,  who  had  been 
adjutant  of  the  78th  Highlanders  in  1856.  In  that 
regiment  he  got  his  first  commission,  and  his  first 
wound  when  in  garrison  at  Aden  from  the  sword 

civilised  war — the  prize  of  valour.  His  kilted  lads 
were  defending  the  passage  of  the  troops  and 
baggage,  and  flinging  the  captured  guns  and 
ammunition  into  the  canal,  when  the  enemy 
assailed  them  in  overwhelming  numbers.  For 
three  hours  a  slender  rear-guard  of  the  78th  fought 
as  demigods  are  fabled  to  fight ;  the  enemy 
brought  two  brass  9-pounders  to  bear  on  them. 
Macpherson  rushed  to  the  front,  followed  by  his 
men,  bayoneted  the  gunners,  seized  the  guns, 
hurled  them  into  the  canal,  and  calmly  resumed 
their  defensive  position.  For  this,  Herbert 
Macpherson  was  awarded  the  Victoria  Cross  by  the 
unanimous  election  of  his  own  men." 
The  cavalry   brigade  was  commanded  by  the 

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gallant  Brigadier  Gough,  and  the  flower  of  it 
was  the  9th,  the  fine  old  Lancer  regiment  of  Sir 
Hope  Grant,  whose  memory  is  yet  green  in  its 

In  his  tent,  Sir  Frederick  Roberts  explained  to 
his  chief  officers  the  details  of  his  intended  march, 
and  next  day  issued  the  following  General 
Order  :— 

"It  has  been  decided  by  the  Government  of 
India,  that  a  force  shall  proceed  with  all  possible 
dispatch  from  Cabul  towards  Khelat  i-Ghilzie  and 
Candahar,  for  the  relief  of  the  British  garrisons  in 
these  places  now  threatened  by  a  large  army  under 
the  leadership  of  the  sirdar  Mohammed  Ayoub  Khan. 
Sir  Frederick  Roberts  feels  sure  that  the  troops 
placed  under  his  command  for  this  important  duty, 
will  cheerfully  respond  to  the  call  made  upon  them, 
notwithstanding  the  privations  and  hardships 
inseparable  from  a  long  march  through  a  hostile 

"  The  Lieu  tenant-General  wishes  to  impress  upon 
both  officers  and  men,  the  necessity  of  preserving 
the  same  strict  discipline  which  has  been  so  suc- 
cessfully and  uniformly  maintained  since  the  com- 
mencement of  the  war,  and  of  treating  all  the  people 
who  may  be  well-disposed  towards  the  British  troops 
with  justice  and  forbearance.  Sir  Frederick  Roberts 
looks  confidently  forward  to  the  successful  accom- 
plishment of  the  object  of  this  expedition,  con- 
vinced as  he  is,  that  all  ranks  are  animated  by  the 
proud  feeling  that  to  them  is  entrusted  the  duty 
and  the  privilege  of  relieving  their  fellow-soldiers 
and  restoring  the  prestige  of  the  British  arms." 

A  banquet  was  given  to  the  generals  in  Cabul, 
and  from  the  account  of  it  we  get  a  description  of 
the  usual  dress  of  staff  and  regimental  officers  then 
at  CabuL  From  this  source  we  learn  that  the  dress 
comprised  white  jean  patrol  jackets,  starched  and 
glazed ;  waistcoat  and  overalls  of  the  same  mate- 
rial; a  pith  helmet  with  a  white  and  gold  pug- 
garee ;  on  duty  a  white  belt ;  in  the  evening  a 
gold  one,  with  patent  leather  boots  and  gilt 

On  the  8th  of  August,  the  famous  march  began. 

The  whole  army  was  drawn  up  in  contiguous 
columns  outside  the  cantonments  of  Sherpur,  with 
the  guns  and  cavalry  on  the  flanks  and  the  baggage 
in  the  rear,  and  soon  after,  Sir  Frederick  Roberts 
came  on  the  ground  with  Sir  Donald  Stewart. 
This  was  just  at  daybreak,  but  despite  the  early 
hour,  a  vast  multitude  issued  from  the  city  to  watch 
the  departure. 

At  half  past  five  o'clock  all  officers  commanding 
corps  and  batteries  were  summoned  around  him, 
by  the  general,  who  said  :  — 

"Gentlemen,  by  the  desire  of  Sir  Donald 
Stewart  I  have  sent  for  you  to  thank  you  for  the 
admirable  manner  in  which  all  my  instructions 
have  been  carried  out,  and  for  the  perfect  state  in 
which  your  men  have  appeared  this  day.  The 
march  of  a  division  of  10,000  men  over  300  miles 
of  an  enemy's  country,  in  a  given  time,  is  a  task 
which  I  have  undertaken,  and  which  I  feel  con- 
fident I  can  carry  out ;  relying,  as  I  do,  on  the  zeal 
and  devotion  of  those  who  are  now  under  my 
command.  Our  march  will  doubtless  be  watched 
with  anxiety  by  our  friends  in  Candahar,  and  by 
those  belonging  to  us  at  home.  We  must,  there- 
fore, show  that  British  soldiers  can  now  accomplish 
what  their  forefathers  achieved  in  old  times ;  and 
that,  upon  an  occasion  like  the  present,  we  can 
make  any  sacrifices  to  carry  out  the  task  set  be- 
fore us." 

At  six  o'clock  the  order  was  given  "  to  move  off 
by  fours  in  successive  brigades  from  the  right,"  and 
the  advanced  guard,  consisting  of  a  squadron  of 
the  9th  Lancers,  with  two  mountain  guns,  trotted 
on  to  the  usual  distance  in  front,  while  a  similar 
force  formed  the  rear-guard. 

In  the  early  part  of  the  morning  the  sun  had 
been  obscured  by  dark  clouds  and  dense  mists 
ascending  from  the  Cabul  River;  but  when  the 
march  began  these  were  dispersed ;  his  rays  came 
out  with  ruddy  splendour,  and  lighted  up  the 
glittering  columns  that  defiled  in  compact  order 
across  the  plain,  with  drums  beating  and  the  High- 
landers with  all  their  pipes  playing. 

Mobs  of  fanatics  and  hill-robbers  came  to  gloat 
over  our  departure,  some  of  them  almost  nude, 
others  in  loose  shirts  and  trousers  of  red  or  blue 
cotton.  They  beat  tom-toms,  danced,  shouted, 
and  uttered  demon-like  yells,  while  brandishing 
their  deadly  knives  in  exultation  and  defiance,  and 
seeming  to  hint  at  a  night  attack  if  the  troops 
encamped  on  open  ground 

Leaving  the  Maidan  road  the  army  proceeded 
by  the  lower  route  towards  the  Safed  Sang,  its 
first  day's  halt 

The  march  was  a  very  trying  one.  For  days 
the  August  sun  beat  fiercely  down  upon  the  weary 
column,  and  Sir  Frederick  Roberts  was  so  affected 
by  the  heat  that  he  had  a  sharp  attack  of  fever, 
which  would  have  placed  hors  de  combat  any  one 
else  less  determined  to  achieve  the  great  task  he 
had  in  hand. 

His  men  were  all  in  splendid  order  for  march- 
ing, and  so  eager  were  they,  that  they  would  have 
traversed  thirty  instead  of  sixteen  miles  a  day ;  but 
Roberts  was  too  i)rudent  a  soldier  to  hurry  his 
men,  or  risk  knocking  up  the  weaker  pedestrians. 

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feR06KE'S  S6RtI£ 


though  his  idea  was  to  increase  the  length  of  each 
march,  as  the  troops — all  seasoned  soldiers — got 
into  training. 

So  excellent  were  the  commissariat  arrangements 
that  the  supplies  w^ere  always  ready  for  issue  the 
moment  a  brigade  halted,  so  no  man  was  kept  a 

moment  waiting  for  his  food  or  ration  of  spirits ; 
though  the  length  of  the  column  was  necessarily 
great,  one  day  extending  fully  six  miles,  between 
the  advance  and  rear  guards. 

Meanwhile,  some   bloody  work   ensued,  some- 
what uselessly,  at  Candahar. 



Lieutenant-General  J.  Maurice  Primrose,  who 
commanded  in  Candahar,  was  an  officer  who  had 
seen  much  service  'with  the  43rd  Light  Infantry, 
during  the  Kaffir  War  of  185 1-3,  and  had  been 
D.-A. -Quartermaster-General  of  the  2nd  Division. 
He  accompanied  the  Expedition  to  the  Orange 
River,  and  was  present  at  the  action  of  Berea.  He 
commanded  the  famous  "  Fighting  43rd,"  as  his 
corps  was  named,  on  its  march  from  Bangalore 
to  Calpee,  a  distance  of  1,300  miles,  during  the 
hottest  season  of  the  Indian  Mutiny,  and  com- 
manded one  of  the  seven  columns,  under  Brigadier 
WTieeler,  specially  ordered  to  clear  a  large  district 
infested  by  numerous  hordes  under  rebel  chiefs, 
and  yet,  with  all  his  great  experience,  he  permitted 
an  ill-devised  and  ill-judged  sortie  to  be  made 
from  Candahar. 

It  was  at  the  instance  of  Major-General  Henry 
Francis  Brooke,  formerly  of  the  109th,  or  Old 
Bombay  Infantry,  a  Crimean  officer,  this  attempt 
was  made.  For  several  days  the  troops  had  been 
irritated  by  an  incessant  rifle  fire  from  some 
villages  about  a  mile  and  a  half  from  the  city  wall, 
and  more  particularly  from  one  named  Deh 
Khoja,  lying  within  range  of  the  citadel  and  on  its 
eastern  face.  The  main  position  of  Ayoub  was 
known  to  face  the  east,  and  spies  had  brought 
General  Primrose  information  that  he  had  with 
him  thirteen  regular  regiments  and  thirty-seven 
or  thirty-eight  pieces  of  cannon,  many  of  them 
rifled,  a  very  numerous  force  of  cavalry  and  of  the 
fanatical  Ghazis. 

General  Brooke  requested  permission  to  lead 
the  sortie,  stipulating,  however,  that  the  village  of 
Deh  Khoja  should  be  bombarded  by  our  guns. 
An  officer,  named  Vandeleur,  major  of  the  7  th 
Fusiliers,  specially  requested  that  he  might  serve 
in  this  sortie,  urging  that  he  had  attained  a  great 
knowledge  of  the  locality  while  frequently  quail 

shooting  thereabout,  and  that  he  was  certain  we 
should  find  the  village  no  easy  matter  to  assault 

Several  soldiers  and  camp  followers  had  been 
murdered  by  the  inhabitants  of  it,  prior  to  the 
approach  of  Ayoub;  and  some  officers  were  of 
opinion  that  it  should  be  severely  bombarded  but 
not  otherwise  attacked 

On  the  1 6th  of  August,  about  4.30  a.m.,  or  two 
hours  before  daylight,  the  troops  for  the  sortie  fell 
in,  in  front  of  the  Cabul  Gate.  "The  night  was 
somewhat  misty,  but  the  moon  now  and  then  lit 
up  the  bronzed  faces  of  our  sepoys,  many  of  whom, 
to  say  the  truth,  seemed  not  particularly  elated  at 
the  prospect  of  our  venture." 

The  sortie  consisted  of  300  picked  men  of  the 
Light  Cavalry  and  Lancers,  with  900  bayonets, 
furnished  respectively  by  H.M.  7th  Fusiliers,  the 
19th  and  28th  Native  Infantry. 

Eight  days  prior  to  this,  General  Primrose  had 
sent  some  guns  up  to  an  eminence  named  the 
Picket  Hill,  overlooking  the  old  cantonments,  and 
from  there  excellent  practice  had  been  made  upon 
the  loopholed  walls  of 'Deh  Khoja,  in  which,  and 
in  other  hamlets  to  the  right  and  left  of  it,  Ayoub 
had  posted  a  strong  force  of  his  irregulars,  and  by 
these.  General  Primrose  had  been  informed,  should 
an  opportunity  occur,  a  night  attack  would  be 
delivered  against  the  Cabul  and  Durani  Gates  of 

In  addition  to  the  walls  of  Deh  Khoja  being 
very  full  of  loopholes,  they  were  more  immediately 
only  approachable  through  a  wilderness  of  orchard 
walls  and  broken  ground. 

The  innumerable  irrigation  channels  that  inter- 
sected the  plain  lying  between  the  city  and  the 
main  village  seriously  obstructed  the  line  of  march 
to  the  latter,  especially  in  the  movements  of  the 
field  artillery.  Prior  to  this  sortie  Ayoub  had  occu- 
pied the  burned  cantonments,  and  thus  given  much 

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amusement,  with  excellent  practice  daily  to  our 
gunners,  at  900  yards,  till  they  shelled  him  out 
On  the  7th  of  the  month  he  had  posted  two  strong 
brigades  on  the  Herat  road,  while  his  cavalry  and 
right  flank  occupied  steep  ground  near  the  ruins  of 
old  Candahar,  and,  on  the  whole,  it  would  be 
difficult  to  conceive  a  stronger  front  than  this, 
which  enfiladed  the  village,  the  approach  to  which 
was  cut  by  deep  canals  and  water-courses,  which 
could  only  be  crossed  at  places  few  and  far 

As  the  grey  dawn  was  stealing  in,  the  field-guns 
opened  fire  upon  Deh  Khoja,  which  was  then  seen 
to  be  strongly  garrisoned  and  reinforced  from  the 
adjacent  villages.  General  Brooke  now  deployed 
half  his  little  band  of  infantry  into  line,  extending 
them  in  skirmishing  order,  with  100  cavalry  on 
each  flank,  and  thus  they  moved  steadily  across 
the  open  plain  as  the  sun  rose,  taking  advantage  of 
whatever  cover  they  could  find  in  the  gardens  and 
orchards  through  which  they  were  compelled  to 
thread  their  way,  firing  the  while  at  the  loopholed 
wall,  which  now  seemed  studded  with  flashes. 

Two  hundred  yards  in  front  of  the  Cabul  Gate 
there  yawns  a  deep  ravine,  beyond  which  there 
rises  a  mass  of  rock,  forming  a  natural  ditch  and 
rampart  There  Brooke  met  his  first  serious 
obstacle.  Ayoub  had  manned  it  by  500  sharp- 
shooters, whose  rifles  inflicted  considerable  loss 
upon  the  sortie ;  Colonel  Malcolmson  of  the  Scinde 
Horse  had  his  charger  shot  under  him,  and  was 
badly  wounded  in  the  sword  arm. 

Major  Cruickshank,  of  the  Royal  Engineers, 
with  only  fifty  men,  was  now  ordered  to  take 
ground  to  the  left  and  enfilade  these  sharpshooters 
on  one  flank,  while  Colonel  Shewell  charged  them 
vigorously  on  the  other,  with  part  of  the  Scinde 
Horse,  and  swept  the  nullah ;  but  one  of  our  guns 
became  wedged  in  it,  and  had  for  a  time  to  be 

The  Ghazis  now  made  a  rush  to  carry  it  off*,  and 
a  desperate  combat  ensued  between  them  and  a 
party  led  by  Lieutenant-Colonel  Nimmo,  of  the 
28th  Bengal  Infantry,  Lieutenant  Wood,  of  the 
Transport  Corps,  and  two  other  officers.  The 
hand-to-hand  fight  was  close  and  deadly,  steel 
ringing  on  steel,  till  the  blades  emitted  sparks,  but 
after  several  repulses,  a  company  of  the  Royal 
Fusiliers,  by  a  bayonet  charge,  with  one  final  rush, 
drove  back  the  enemy,  yet  not  without  loss,  and 
some  delay  was  now  caused  by  the  conveyance 
rearward  of  the  wounded,  who  otherwise  would 
have  been  mutilated  and  massacred  by  the  hordes 
of  villagers  who  were  gathering  in  the  distance. 

"All  the  ordinary  obstructions  to  a  successful 

defence  or  to  an  effective  sortie  accumulated  upon 
us  in  an  aggravated  form,"  >^TOte  an  officer. 
"  Whether  in  climbing  steep  ridges,  crossing  the 
Candahar  watercourses,  forcing  rocky  defiles,  or 
attacking  villages  encompassed  by  loopholed  walls, 
all  the  knowledge  of  locality  was,  unfortunately, 
entirely  in  favour  of  the  enemy." 

The  latter  had,  without  doubt,  received  fi-om 
some  one  within  Candahar,  intelligence  of  the 
intended  sortie,  for  the  troops  composing  it  were 
barely  in  position  outside  the  city  gates  when  a 
strong  force  of  Afghan  cavalry,  led  by  a  chief 
conspicuous  for  the  brilliance  and  severity  of  his 
charges  at  Maiwand  and  elsewhere,  came  rushing 
down  the  steep  slopes,  and  with  wild  war-cries 
attacked  alike  the  advanced  skirmishers  and  the 
unsupported  guns.  Nothing  would  have  checked 
this  furious  attack  but  the  stem  steadiness  of  the 
company  of  Fusiliers,  which  had  cleared  the  nullah 
of  the  Ghazis  and  resolutely  held  post  on  the 
summit  of  it 

The  peculiar  manner  in  which  Afghan  villages 
are  constructed,  and  the  knowledge  the  inhabitants 
in  their  own  simple  way  show  of  field  fortification, 
ought,  it  was  said,  to  have  suggested  an  attack  by 
night  and  not  by  day.  In  the  former,  the  small- 
ness  of  the  assailing  force  could  not  be  known,  and 
if  it  pressed  courageously  on,  might  perhaps  have 
achieved  the  end  in  view. 

General  Brooke,  on  horseback,  field-glass  in 
hand,  was  behind  a  small  breastwork  we  had 
captured  on  the  left  flank  of  Deh  Khoja,  and  from 
there  he  saw  a  great  body  of  swordsmen  and 
matchlockmen  pouring  forward  furiously  to  the 
attack,  and  rushing  across  a  plateau  in  his  fi*ont, 
led  by  a  standard-bearer,  who  wore  a  long  and 
floating  loonghee  of  scarlet  and  gold. 

It  was  seven  in  the  morning  now,  and  the  troops 
had  only  worked  their  way  to  within  some  hundred 
yards  of  the  village.  The  fire  from  the  matchlocks 
— cumbrous  and  antiquated  though  these  weapons 
were — was  uncommonly  steady,  and  all  Brooke's 
efforts,  both  with  rifle  fire  and  cavalry  charges, 
proved  unsuccessful  for  a  time. 

With  shield  braced  on  the  left  arm,  the  swords- 
men made  more  than  one  furious  and  headlong 
rush  upon  the  flanks;  but  these  were  advan- 
tageously posted,  and  the  rapid  fire  of  the  little 
mountain  guns  mowed  them  down  in  heaps  and 
threw  them  into  disorder.  Brooke  now  ordered  a 
general  advance  of  the  whole  force,  though  our 
losses  had  become  heavy  in  the  open,  while  the 
nature  of  their  position  gave  every  cover  to  the 
enemy,  and  he.  Colonel  Newport,  Major  Trench, 
and  Lieutenants  Stayner,  Marsh,  and  Wood,  were 

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all  severely  wounded,  but  were  still  pushing  on  in 
the  thickest  of  the  combat 

An  order  now  came  from  General  Primrose  to 
fall  back  on  the  city  if  possible ;  but  fearing  that 
enough  had  not  been  done  for  honour,  Brooke 
declined  yet  to  obey.  Our  leading  companies 
were  already  at  the  village  wall,  but  it  was  evident 
that  they  would  be  cut  off  to  a  man  if  not  vigorously 
supported;  so  General  Brooke  led  on  a  squadron 

was  riding  with  Colonel  Malcolmson  of  the  Scinde 
Horse,  was  ordered  to  retire  at  once,  and  the  street 
was  held  by  the  fire  of  the  Sappers  and  a  com- 
pany of  the  7th  Fusiliers  till  the  movement  was 

General  Primrose's  report  justified  the  belief 
that  we  were  defeated,  and  that  the  defeat  was  due 
to  a  certain  inexcusable  ignorance  of  the  enemy's 
strength;  for,  as  the  village  is  so  near  Candahar, 



1                               Khairabad           y 

Y        A 


1.  i.40  Pr. 
8.  19  Pr. 
I  40  Pr. 
6.  1-9  Pr, 

^^  ^. 


8.  i.Mortars* 

9.  t-9  Pr, 

10.  1-9  Pr, 

11.  1-9  Pr, 
la.  t'4oPr, 
la.  tti  Pr, 


J                  Citade 

■018        Y  1  ""-^^.ff/'i*?^ 

Bard  u  ran  Vh^\                        ^M 
Gate    97\                   Wi 

ar  Deh  Khoja     \ 



1.   % 


'Oate    S* 




Herat  S                           \\ 

\    CANt 

>AJnA«.  ?         Yn           -N^..    U';^^'"'"  N.I.(Tr*nch) 


karpur                                      \ 
Gate                                          \ 

W"    yf>'  3rd    L.C. 
^^-..^^  \           ^-f>oonah  Horse { '*"***"• 

\           '             Scale  of  1  Mfle. 



\     \    ^ 





PLAN  OF  THE  SORTIE  FROM  CANDAHAR  (AUG.    16,    1880). 

of  the  Scinde  Horse,  and  the  main  street  of  the 
village  was  carried 

At  this  juncture  Major  Cruickshank,  with  his 
Sappers,  effected  a  lodgment  in  a  ruined  building, 
surrounded  by  a  large  garden,  and  there  held  at 
bay  the  enemy,  whose  force  was  increasing  fast,  as 
men  came  pouring  in  from  the  adjacent  villages, 
till  a  ball  fi-om  a  matchlock  in  the  groin  struck 
him  down,  and  a  dozen  swordsmen  rushed  forward 
to  hew  him  to  pieces. 

The  gallant  Brooke  saw  his  terrible  plight,  and 
though  badly  wounded  himself,  strove  to  save  him 
by  assisting  him  with  his  stirrup ;  but  in  the  wild 
milee  that  ensued  both  were  carried  away  in  the 
rush  and  instantly  killed     Colonel  Newport,  who 

there  could  have  been  no  great  difficulty  in  ascer- 
taining the  force  holding  it,  yet  the  general  ad- 
mitted that  his  information  was  faulty. 

"We  got  through  the  vilbge,"  he  says,  "but 
finding  it  strongly  occupied  and  reinforced  by 
contingents  from  other  villages,  we  had  to  retire  to 
the  fortress,'*  He  states  that  the  enemy's  loss  was 
heavy;  that  our  cavalry  made  two  charges  and 
"  cut  up "  a  good  many ;  2,000  were  supposed  to 
have  fallen.  But  the  sortie  was  not  successful  in 
accomplishing  the  object  in  view,  and  thus  failed 
to  relieve  the  Candahar  garrison  of  the  danger  that 
menaced  it  on  the  east 

The  retreat  was  not  an  unmolested  one,  and 
had  it  not  been  for  Malcolmson  and  the  brilliant 

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i68  BRITISH  BATTLES  ON  LAND  AND  SEA.  [Candahar. 




















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manner  in  which  he  le<J  his  Scinde  Horse  in  more 
than  one  charge  across  our  flanks,  the  day  would 
indeed  have  been  a  disastrous  one.  He  drove 
back  the  pursuing  enemy,  who  with  their  usual 
persistence  assembled  in  firing  groups  on  every 
rock,  knoll,  and  coign  of  vantage,  and  with  sword 
and  lance  they  were  chased  along  the  precipitous 
ridges,  and  thence  back  in  confusion  to  Deh  Khoja. 

instinct  for  discovering  any  weak  points,  and  were 
quick  to  avail  themselves  of  them. 

Thus,  our  losses  were  out  of  all  comparison  with 
the  number  of  men  engaged — some  200  men,  in- 
cluding the  general,  his  old  fnend  Major  Cruick- 
shank;  Colonel  Newport,  of  the  28th  Native 
Infantry,  who  was  thrice  wounded  and  was  last 
seen  with  Colonel  Shewell,  trying  to  save  a  dis- 

REV.   G.   M.   GORDON. 

While  this  was  in  progress,  the  Sappers  and 
company  of  the  7th  Fusiliers  had  skilfully,  and 
with  wonderful  rapidity,  thrown  up  a  breastwork, 
and  this,  flanked  by  a  couple  of  mountain  guns, 
they  held  with  resolute  bravery,  and  enabled  our 
'disordered  infantry  to  retire  in  a  manner  less  un- 
pleasant than  actual  flight  Yet  the  conflict 
during  the  short  retreat  was  sometimes  more 
desperate  than  in  the  advance;  as  those  wild 
mountaineers,  the  Ghazis,  though  ignorant  of  all 
discipline,  and  armed  with  rude  matchlocks,  short 
swords  and  battle-axes,  seemed  to  have  a  natural 

abled  soldier.  There  also  fell  Le  Poer  Trench,  of 
the  19th  Bombay  Infantry,  and  Lieutenant  Stayner; 
with  Lieutenant  Frederick  Wood  and  Everard 
Marsh,  two  gallant  officers — mere  lads — of  the  Royal 
Fusiliers,  The  chaplain,  the  Rev.  G.  M.  Gordon, 
who,  with  the  greatest  devotion,  returned  from  the 
Cabul  Gate  to  a  place  where  five  men  lay  bleeding, 
and  endeavoured  to  assist  the  dhooly  bearers,  was 
shot  with  several  men  by  one  volley  of  musketry. 
Major  T.  Burton  Vandeleur,  of  the  Fusiliers,  who 
was  mortally  wounded,  died  in  the  hospital,  which 
was  soon  full  to  overflowing.     Lieutenant  Galfrid 

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de  Trafford,  of  the  7th,  and  Dr.  Stewart,  of  the 
Poonah  Horse,  were  among  the  wounded. 

"  As  the  Heratees  forced  us  back  into  the  city/' 
wrote  Father  Jackson,  the  Catholic  chaplain  to  the 
forces,  "most  of  our  dead  had  to  be  left  where 
they  fell.  One  of  my  poor  men  died  of  his  wounds 
as  soon  as"  he  was  brought  in,  and  before  I  could 
do  anything  for  him.  Two  others  died  during  the 
day,  after  receiving  extreme  unction.  One  of  these 
men  had  completed  his  period  of  service  (21  years) 
and  became  entitled  to  a  pension  on  the  very  day 
of  his  death.  I  have  also  lost  my  poor  clerk,  the 
soldier  who  used  to  serve  my  mass  every  morning ; 
but  I  feel  that  I  have  gained  another  intercessor 
before  the  throne  of  God.  As  God  has  His  saints 
in  every  condition,  so  are  they  to  be  found  among 
soldiers  I " 

General  Brooke,  who  lay  with  the  rest  of  the 
dead  in  Deh  Khoja,  served  with  Lord  Napier  of 
Magdala  in  the  China  War,  and  his  fall,  though  in 
the  attempt  to  succour  his  friend,  was  greatly 
deplored.     He  was  in  his  forty-fourth  year. 

When  acting  as  aide-de-camp  to  Napier,  at  the 
assault  on  the  Taku  Forts,  he  was  struck  down  by 
a  ball  at  the  side  of  the  former,  who,  at  that 
moment,  was  examining  the  operations  through  his 
field-glass,  and  making  observations  from  time  to 
time  about  them.  He  never  removed  the  glass 
from  his  eyes  or  took  the  least  notice  of  the 
incident,  but  continued  to  watch  intently  the 
advance  of  the  storming  column.  "  It  raised  my 
opinion  of  Napier  greatly,"  said  Brooke,  then  a 
captain,  to  a  friend  ;  *'it  showed  how  perfectly  he 
was  master  of  himself;  he  rather  liked  me,  and  I 
am  sure  he  was  sorry  I  was  hit ;  but  there  was  no 
use  in  his  stooping  down  to  help  me,  he  knew 
there  were  others  about  to  do  all  that,  and  he 
would  not  distract  his  attention  for  an  instant  from 
the  real  business  he  had  in  hand." 

The  26th  of  August  came,  and  still  there  was  no 
appearance  of  succour  for  Candahar.  On  that  day 
it  was  found,  none  knew  why,  as  yet,  that  Ayoub 
Khan  had  moved  his  army  from  the  immediate 
vicinity  of  the  city,  and  that  the  villagers  of  Deh 
Khoja  had  fled  en  masse.  General  Primrose  now 
went  out  at  the  head  of  200  men  to  collect  and 
inter  the  remains  of  our  slain.  "  The  bodies  had 
been  stripped  of  their  clothes  by  the  Heratees,"  says 
the  chaplain  before  quoted,  "and  the  heads  of 
many  of  them  taken  away.  The  vultures,  too,  had 
been  feeding  on  them.  They  were  in  a  frightful 
state  of  decomposition,  and  the  odour  proceeding 
from  them  was  intolerable.  Over  fifty  only  were 
collected,  and  out  of  this  number  only  \iyQ  could  be 
identified.     When  all  the  remains  were  collected, 

they  were  laid  in  a  trench  and  the  funeral  service 
was  read  over  them." 

Among  the  remains  identified,  were  those  of 
General  Brooke,  which  were  sent  home  to  his 
native  country,  and  buried  in  his  family  vault  at 
Colebrooke  in  December,  1880. 

The  recent  expulsion  of  the  Afghan  element, 
estimated  at  10,000  souls,  by  General  Primrose, 
tended  to  recruit  the  ranks  of  Ayoub  Khan  ;  but  it 
was  deemed  better  to  have  them  fighting  for  him  out- 
side the  walls,  than  concocting  treachery  within  them. 

In  January,  1879,  ^^  Candaharees  received  our 
garrison,  if  not  with  friendship,  at  least  without  any 
manifestation  of  hostility,  and  were  content  to  let 
us  be  their  masters.  Occasionally  the  Ghazis  came 
in  from  the  villages  of  the  Zamindawar,  or  the 
neighbouring  mountains,  pledged  by  vow  to  murder 
at  least  one  Briton ;  but  with  these  the  population 
showed  no  sympathy,  and  as  time  passed  on  their 
feelings  seemed  to  deepen  into  something  more 
cordial,  and  they  believed  that  we  were  to  occupy 
their  city  for  ever.  Our  soldiers  went  about  the 
streets  as  safely  as  if  they  had  been  there  for  a 
century,  and  the  money  they  spent  made  them 
welcome  everywhere. 

Now  all  this  had  become  changed  by  the 
vicinity  of  Ayoub  Khan,  who  had  still  young 
Maclaine  a  prisoner  in  his  camp,  and  for  whose  re- 
lease many  efforts  were  made  without  avail  The 
Looniab,  whose  name  frequently  occurred  in  de- 
spatches, acted  as  the  chief  of  Ayoub*s  staff,  and 
was  a  very  efficient  officer.  The  Looniab  is  the 
title  of  the  Governor-General  of  Afghan  Turkestan, 
one  of  the  four  viceroyalties  into  which  the  country 
was  divided  before  we  invaded  it 

One  of  General  Primrose's  chief  anxieties  was  the 
water  supply,  but  it  soon  proved  to  be  abundant,  as 
well  as  food  and  ammunition. 

British  troops  were  now  moving  on  three  lines  of 
march  through  Afghanistan. 

General  Sir  Donald  Stewart  from  Cabul  to 
Jellalabad,  a  distance  of  80  miles ;  General  Pha>Te 
from  Quettah,  to  relieve  Candahar,  140  miles ;  and 
General  Roberts,  with  the  same  object,  including 
the  relief  of  Khelat-i-Ghilzie,  a  distance  of  about 
320  miles. 

Not\\'ithstanding  the  unfortunate  events  at  Mai- 
wand  and  in  front  of  Candahar,  it  was  now,  as  the 
Marquis  of  Hartington  announced  in  Parliament, 
the  undoubted  intention  of  the  Indian  Government 
to  withdraw  the  whole  of  our  troops  from  Cabul, 
the  retirement  from  which,  he  added,  was  made 
with  the  entire  consent  and  concurrence  of  Sir 
Donald  Stewart,  who  had  telegraphed  thus  to  the 
Viceroy  on  the  5th  August : — 

Digitized  by 





"  All  our  objects  have  been  attained,  and  nothing 
remains  to  be  done  but  to  hand  over  Cabul  to  the 
Ameer,  who  b  naturally  anxious  to  establish  him- 
self in  his  capital,  and  bring  his  government  into 
working  order.  Politically  the  withdrawal  from 
Cabul  will  be  well-timed,  and  it  happens  that  we 
shall  leave  it  on  the  day  fixed  for  the  purpose  two 
months  aga  The  state  of  affidrs  at  Candahar 
renders  it  highly  necessary  that  we  should  avail 
ourselves  of  the  present  opportunity,  while  the 
country  remains  quiet  dnd  free  from  complication." 

On  the  morning  of  the  12  th  August,  Sir  Donald 
drew  the  whole  of  his^division  outside  the  canton- 
ments, and  placed  Cabul  in  the  virtual  possession 
of  the  Ameer. 

The  ist  Brigade,  under  Major-General  Hill,  V.C. 
and  CB.,  comprised  the  Queen's  9th  Regiment, 
28th  Punjaub  Native  Infantry,  45th  Sikhs,  three 
troops  of  the  ist  Punjaub  Cavaby,  the  Guides 
Cavalry,  four  gtms  and  some  Sappers. 

The  2nd  Brigade,  under  Brigadier  Hughes,  was 
composed  of  the  59th  Regiment,  the  Guides 
Infantry,  3rd  Ghoorkas,  a  squadron  of  the  2nd 
Punjaub  Cavalry,  and  two  guns. 

The  3rd  Brigade,  under  Brigadier  Daunt  (a 
Crimean  officer),  consisted  of  the  67th  Regiment, 
7th  Punjaub  Infantry,  and  the  4th  Brigade  of  the 
Royal  Artillery;  in  all  7^500  fighting  men,  with 
twelve  pieces  of  cannon. 

That  the  retiring  movement  must  have  been  an 
anxious  and  an  arduous  one  to  Sir  Donald,  is  shown 
by  the  army  of  non-combatants  he  had  to  guard 
and  bring  on  with  him  towards  India.  The  camp 
followers,  refugees,  pilgrims,  and  others,  who  took 
advantage  of  his  escort  to  escape  from  anarchy, 
were  not  less  than  30,000  men,  including  the  sick, 
wounded,  and  lame,  whom  General  Roberts  had 
left  behind,  and  20,000  beasts  of  burden  all  to  be 
fed  and  cared  for,  on  a  route  that  was  full  of  many 
perils,  through  savage  defiles  and  over  enormous 
mountain  passes.  With  the  Ghilzies  at  the  Cabul 
end  of  the  Khyber,  the  Mohmunds  halfway  through 
it,  and  the  Afreedees  at  the  other  end,  the  homeward 
march  of  Sir  Donald  bade  fair  to  be  a  series  of 
desperate  fights  and  onslaughts,  as  the  Afghans 
would  be  sure  to  believe  that  Ayoub  had  frightened 
us  out  of  the  country. 

As  the  long  and  cumbrous  column  began  its 
weary  march,  detachments  of  the  Ameer's  in- 
fantry, dad  in  drab-coloured  uniforms  of  European 
pattern,  and  cavalry  that  seemed  only  straggling 
bands  of  savage  marauders,  were  seen  moving  into 
the  Sherpur  cantonments,  to  guard  some  stores  of 
which  Sir  Donald  had  made  Abdur  Rahman  a 
present    Already  the  cruelty  and  violence  of  his 

troops  had  excited  the  attention  of  the  Ameer, 
as  "  these  men  were  the  curse  of  the  country  they 
are  supposed  to  protect  They  take  what  they 
want  fi-om  the  villages,  without  any  recompense, 
and  commit  the  most  lawless  excesses  without  any 
fear  of  retribution,  for  their  officers,  as  a  rule,  share 
the  spoil  wherever  they  go." 

It  was  impossible  not  to  feel  a  little  humiliation, 
says  a  writer  in  "  Personal  Records  "  of  the  cam- 
paign, at  the  invasion  of  our  cantonments  by  a 
filthy  rabble  of  Cabulees  who  swarmed  into  them 
the  moment  they  were  quitted.  Arabs,  Jews,  Mussul- 
mans, and  Budmashes  of  all  kinds,  crowded  round 
the  baggage  and  stores  with  greedy  eyes  and  hearts, 
even  when  we  were  in  preparation  for  the  march. 

Before  break  of  day  the  advanced  guard,  con- 
sisting of  cavalry  and  artillery,  had  moved  off,  but 
the  sun  was  up  when  the  main  body  got  into 
marching  order,  and  along  all  the  hills  that  over- 
hung the  route  predatory  hordes  of  mountaineers, 
all  armed  to  the  teeth,  could  be  seen  looking  on 
with  impotent  rage  and  greed,  many  of  them 
leaping  from  rock  to  rock,  with  wild  gestures. 

Two  friendly  Afghan  sirdars  rode  with  the 
column  for  several  miles  during  the  first  morning 
march,  and  though  incensed  by  the  conduct  of  the 
hill-men,  explained  that  they  were  exceptionally 
lawless,  and  opposed  to  the  Barukzye  rule. 

After  four  days'  marching  Sir  Donald's  unwieldy 
column,  winding  its  way  like  a  long  and  mighty 
snake  though  the  defiles,  only  reached  Seh-i-baba 
in  three  days,  the  whole  of  one  being  spent  in 
traversing  only  five  miles  of  the  desperate  country 
that  lay  between  the  last  camp  at  the  Lataband 
Pass  and  that  point  The  baggage  animals  suffered 
terribly  with  the  stifling  heat  in  the  narrow  and 
rock-t>ound  mountain  paths;  but  not  a  shot  had 
been  fired  from  the  heights,  as  the  mighty  train, 
with  all  its  encumbrances,  dragged  its  length  into 
camp  at  Seh-i-baba,  on  Saturday  night  the  14th 
August,  and  on  the  21st  he  safely  and  successfully 
established  his  head-quarters  at  Jellalabad,  and 
found  the  country  quiet  around  him. 

Though  delayed  by  want  of  commissariat 
animals.  General  Phayre,  on  receiving  a  telegram 
from  General  Primrose,  reporting  the  result  of 
Maiwand  and  requiring  assistance,  made  his  pre- 
parations at  once  to  quit  Quettah,  which  is  in 
Beloochistan,  and  after  a  consultation  with  Sir 
Robert  Sandeman  he  at  once  called  in  all  the 
outposts  lying  between  that  town  and  Candahar, 
and  telegraphed  down  to  Dadur  and  Jacobabad  to 
bring  up  all  reinforcements. 

There  were  gatherings  of  Pathans  and  Kakkars 
in  the  vicinity  of  the  Pishin  Valley,  and  it  was  but 

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too  evident  that  any  hostilities  on  the  right  flank  of 
General  Phayre^s  route  would  delay  or  weaken  his 
progress.  Hitherto  he  had  held  the  country  from 
Chaman  to  Quettah  with  a  force  of  3,000  men. 

On  the  2ist  of  August  he  moved  out  to 
Khojuck,  and  on  the  27th  he  reached  Chaman, 
while  his  cavalry,  under  General  Wilkinson,  arrived  at 
Killa  AbduUa.  Chaman  is  about  midway  between 
Quettah  and  Candahar.  It  is  a  strong  post,  a 
miniature  citadel,  on  a  site  of  great  natural  strength. 

Some  miles  farther  on  brought  him  in  sight  of 
the  white  tents  of  our  post  at  Gatai,  where  some 
fighting  ensued  General  Phayre  had  called  in 
the  outposts  at  Mel  Mandi,  Abubraman,  and  Dubrai 
to  Gatai,  intending  to  concentrate  them  at  Chaman ; 
but  the  hill-men  of  the  Khoja  Mountains,  who 
from  their  lofty  summits  can  see  far  across  the 
immense  plain,  and  are  ever  on  the  watch  for 
plunder,  came  down  from  their  eyries,  and  inter- 
cepted them  at  Gatai  The  garrison  in  Chaman 
Fort  were  on  the  look-out  too.  They  had 
watched  the  long  column  of  rolling  dust  coming 
along  the  road  from  Dubrai  to  Gatai,  and  had  seen 
also  another  cloud  of  dust,  which  had  no  connection 
with  the  movements  in  hand,  passing  swiftly  at 
right  ]  angles  across  the  plain  towards  the  same 
point,  and  the  shout  of  "Kakkars  in  motion!" 
brought  all  under  arms. 

In  a  few  minutes  a  squadron  was  in  the  saddle 
and  off  on  the  spur,  and  from  the  fort  the  great 
sand  clouds  could  be  seen  rolling  across  the  plain, 
and  the  gallant  Scinde  and  Poonah  Horse,  clad  in 
green  uniforms — as  noble  cavalry  as  ever  drew 
sabre — came  galloping  up.  The  fight  had  just 
commenced,  and  the  little  detachment  was  gallantly 
holding  out  against  the  Kakkars,  who,  at  the  sight 

of  the  cavalry,  with  a  bright  steel  mountain  gun, 
made  off  to  the  hills  in  wild  flight 

The  march  was  continued  beyond  Gatai  through 
a  dismal  level  for  many  miles,  and  then  among  hills 
that  throw  out  spurs  which  overhang  the  road, 
rendering  it  dangerous  if  planted  by  ambush^;  and 
there  are  steep  inclines  covered  with  loose  shingle ; 
and  both  Dubrai  and  Mel -Mandi  were  perilous 
points  if  Ayoub  wished  to  opf)ose  Phayre's  advance 
to  Candahar.  The  valleys  were  thickly  populated 
by  tribes  whose  hostility  was  but  too  easily  excited, 
and  the  greater  part  of  the  way  lay  through  wastes 
of  sand  and  rock,  abounding  in  dangerous  intervals 
of  ravine  and  defile. 

At  last  his  column  came  in  sight  of  Candahar, 
with  that  citadel  to  which  such  interest  was  then 
attached.  "The  first  sight  of  this  city,"  says  a 
writer,  "realises  all  one's  dreams  of  the  East,  few 
the  surrounding  verdure  and  the  glitter  of  water 
give  it  the  appearance  of  great  fertility  and  luxury, 
while  the  noble-looking  citadel  and  stately  mosque 
close  by,  impart  a  striking  grandeur  to  the  scene. 
But  all  the  beauty  vanishes  on  approach.  The 
houses  are,  generally,  on  a  dead  level  of  in- 
significance, half  ruined  and  huddled  together  in 
irregular  masses,  the  mosque  is  wretchedly  dilapi- 
dated, and  the  citadel  itself  disappointing." 

Fortunately  for  General  Primrose  then,  its 
strength  was  no  illusion. 

On  the  4th  of  September  General  Phayre  and 
his  staflf  arrived  at  Candahar,  but  afterwards  re- 
turned to  his  division,  which  was  encamped  at 
Karez-i-Rarak,  twelve  miles  to  the  southward  of  the 
city  (where  supplies  were  abundant),  for  great 
events  had  taken  place  three  days  before,  and  its 
services  proved  now  to  be  unnecessary. 



The  first  day's  halt  of  General  Roberts  was,  we 
have  said,  at  Safed  Sang,  though  his  ist 
Brigade  and  his  Engineer  park,  with  its  eighty 
mules,  pushed  on  as  far  as  Zargunshah  in  the 
Logar  Valley,  in  both  of  which  places  there  is 
good  camping  ground,  with  the  two  great  requisites, 
fuel  and  water.  "  My  experiences  of  Indian  and 
Afghan  marches  are  anjrthing  but  pleasant  to  look 
back  upon,"  wrote  one  who  was  presentj  "  and  the 

horror  of  the  hour,  or  hour  and  a  half,  preparing 
for  the  road  will  not  be  easily  forgotten.  The 
discordant  bellowing  of  the  over-loaded  camel,  and 
the  debris  caused  by  an  elephant  who  has  quarrelled 
with  his  mahout,  the  screams  of  the  native  drivers, 
and  the  objurgations  of  the  British  soldier,  make 
an  inferno  worthy  of  a  modem  Dante." 

A  portion  of  the  march  lay  through  a  fertile  and 
beautiful  country,  by  Hissarak,  Zaidabad,  Haidar 

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Kheyl,  Haftasia  and  Shasgao.  Without  much  toil 
the  steep  mountain  ridge  which  shuts  in  the 
southern  end  of  the  lovely  Logar  Valley  by  the 
Zamburia  Pass  and  the  Wardek  Defile,  was 
traversed,  but  after  that  the  road  became  difficult, 
especially  for  the  passage  of  the  mountain  guns, 
each  of  which  was  in  two  pieces,  and  thus  borne  by 
two  mules. 

Sir  Frederick  had  impressed  on  all  ranks  the 
necessity  for  strict  obedience  on  the  line  of  march, 
and  at  every  halt  he  had  a  careful  inspection  of 
men  and  cattle.  Sore  backs  and  foot-sores,  galls 
and  accidents  were  instantly  reported,  and  all  ranks 
were  divided  into  squads,  for  greater  convenience 
in  issuing  supplies  and  detecting  casualties ;  while 
his  wisdom  in  choosing  the  Logar  Valley  route 
was  justified  by  the  rapid  success  of  his  advance. 

He  had  to  purchase  on  the  line  of  march  1,330 
additional  yaboos  or  ponies  and  379  camels  and 
donkeys,  for  the  carriage  of  foot-sore  soldiers,  as  he 
tells  us  in  his  long  despatch  of  the  26th  September, 
from  Quettah.  It  is  further  stated  that  by  the  de- 
sertion of  the  whole  of  the  Afghan  drivers,  belonging 
to  the  transport,  shortly  after  leaving  Cabul,  and 
of  the  Hazara  drivers,  directly  their  own  country 
was  reached,  exceptionally  heavy  work  was  thrown 
upon  the  troops. 

The  average  length  of  the  day's  marches  was 
sixteen  miles,  or  four  miles  over  what  is  deemed  a 
fair  day's  march.  An  enemy  to  short  service  and 
boy  soldiers  in  time  of  war,  he  particularly  watched 
the  hardihood  of  his  regiments. 

"  While  on  the  march  to  Candahar,*'  said  he,  in 
his  speech  at  the  London  Guildhall  in  the  following 
year,  "  I  made  it  my  business  to  find  out  every  day 
how  many  men  of  each  corps  had  fallen  out  on  the 
way.  I  discovered  that  the  72  nd  Highlanders  had 
more  casualties,  in  proportion  to  their  numbers,  than 
either  the  6oth  Rifles  or  92nd  Highlanders,  and  on 
further  inquiry  I  ascertained  that  the  majority  of 
cases  occurred  amongst  men  of  the  last  draft,  in 
fact  among  the  young  soldiers.  The  average 
service  of  the  72  nd  Highlanders  on  our  leaving 
Cabul  was,  sergeants,  13^4  years;  corporals,  12*/^ 
years;  and  privates,  7  years;  and  of  the  92nd 
Highlanders,  sergeants,  15  years;  corporals,  11 
years;  and  privates,  9  years.  I  have  not  the  return 
of  the  2nd  battalion  of  the  6oth  Rifles,  but  feel 
satisfied  that  the  men  were  not  of  less  service  than 
those  of  the  72nd  Highlanders.  Such  a  return  as 
this  it  will  be  quite  impossible  ever  to  prepare 
again  '\{  our  system  of  short  service  is  persisted  in, 
and  it  will  be  impossible  for  a  British  force  ever 
again  to  perform  such  a  march  as  those  magnificent 
troops    I    had   the    honour  to    command    made 

from  Cabul  to  Candahar.  No  commander  would 
undertake  such  a  service  except  with  soldiers  upon 
whose  discipline,  spirit,  and  endurahce  he  could 
thoroughly  rely." 

On  this  subject  the  correspondent  of  the  Daily 
Telegraph  writes  thus  forcibly  : — "  I  was  at  Rawal 
Pindi  when  the  8th  Yoot  were  there,  and  I  told 
you  in  one  of  my  letters  of  the  demoralisation  of 
the  regiment  when  in  cantonments.  *What  else 
can  you  expect  from  such  a  mob  of  boys?'  was  said. 
Again  I  saw  the  8th  on  the  march,  and  it  is 
miserable  work  recalling  such  a  scene.  On  the 
first  occasion  they  were  on  the  high  road,  the  day 
was  hot  and  the  hills  were  trying.  But  the  boys 
were  in  their  shirt-sleeves,  with  their  uniforms  and 
accoutrements  piled  on  the  backs  of  the  animals 
they  were  escorting,  or  heaped  upon  the  dhoolies 
the  natives  were  carrying.  ...  On  the  next 
occasion  I  saw  them  on  the  march,  and  it  was  then 
I  was  struck  with  the  contrast  which  Sir  Frederick 
Roberts  brought  forward  with  such  terrible  effect 
against  the  fatal  system  that  gives  us  these  boy- 
soldiers;  the  particular  piece  of  road  was  a  very 
nasty  hill,  and  the  8th  were  apparently  thoroughly 
beaten  by  it  The  complement  of  those  who  had 
already  fallen  out  was  so  large  as  to  have  filled  all 
the  transport  available,  and  so  the  others  sat 
mopping  their  faces  by  the  roadside,  looking 
utterly  disheartened  as  the  stream  of  native  troops 
and  animals,  cavalry,  and  artillery  elephants  wound 
up  the  way  past  them.  A  native  regiment  came 
striding  along  in  capital  form,  and  one  stalwart 
fellow  said  in  Hindostanee  to  the  next  man,  '  Wah- 
wah  !  if  these  are  European  soldiers,  we  had  better 
put  them  in  dhoolies  and  carry  them  up  the  hill' 
But  I  soon  had  my  revenge  of  them  for  the  sneer ; 
for  very  soon  after,  I  saw  the  same  regiment  halted 
to  let  the  72nd  go  by,  and  it  was  a  sight  all  the 
nation  should  have  seen,  to  see  these  active 
Highkinders  swinging  along  up  the  hill ! " 

Great  is  the  beauty  of  the  Logar  Valley  where 
our  troops  made  several  halts,  at  all  of  which 
many  officers  were  busy  with  their  pencils,  making 
artistic  sketches.  With  all  the  toil  that  was  thrown 
upon  them,  the  troops  were  delighted  with  their 
peaceful  march  through  the  long  valley  of  the 
Logar,  studded  as  its  sides  were  with  groves, 
where  the  bamboo  spread  its  feathery  foliage  over 
the  bright  masses  of  the  peepul,  the  magnolia  and 
the  acacia,  called  the  cabul,  tufted  with  ball-like 
flowers  of  golden  hue,  and  having  a  delicious 
perfume.  In  other  places  long  garlands  of  the 
Afghan  jasmine  hung  from  the  rocks. 

General  Roberts  daily  sent  messages  back  to  the 
Ameer  at  Cabul,  to  keep  him  au  courant  of  his 

Digitized  by 




CLofRT  Vallejr. 


August  6th,  Broke  up  Cantonments ;  yth,  Rest ;  8th,  Charasiah,  Beni-Htssar,  and  Indiki ;  9th,  Concentrate  at  Zaidabad ;  lolh,  Htaiank, 
Zargunshah,  Dadu  Khel  (near  these  places);  xith,  Baraki-Rogan,  Baraki- Barak,  Padkao ;  xath,  Unak,  Amir  Killa,  Zaidafaftd;  isdi 
Concentrate  at  Haidar  Khel;  14th,  Shasgao;  15th,  Ghazni ;  i6th,  Yarghatta  (by  Ahmed  Kehl);  17th,  Chardeh;  x8th,  Oba  Kares;  xglh, 
Mukir ;  90th,  Kila-i-Tuman  ;  21st,  Gargai ;  aznd,  Baba  Ka  Zai ;  23rd,  Khelat-i-Gilzie  ;  34th,  Rest;  ajth,  Jaklak;  96ch,  Tiraodas  Minar; 
97th,  Poma2ai(Kehl«i«Akhund);  38th,  Robat;  a^th,  Rest;  jotb,  Mohmand;  3xst,  Candahar* 

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progress;  but  it  was  somewhat  significant  that  at  this 
very  time  the  tidings  of  his  succession  to  the  Afghan 
throne  caused  a  general  illumination  of  all  the 
Russian  garrison  towns  in  central  Asia,  and  that 
at  Masari  Sherif  a  salute  of  loi  guns  was  fired  on 
the  occasion;  but  then,  as  Lord  Hartington  ex- 
plained in  the  House  of  Commons,  the  Ameer  was, 
and  had  been,  for  twelve  years  a  pensioner  of  Russia. 

former    place,    through    a    fertile    and    beautiful 
district,  Haidar  Kheyl  was  reached. 

On  the  13th,  General  Roberts  marched  from  Haf- 
tasia,  through  terrible  defiles,  where  the  road  was  so 
naiTow  and  the  impending  cliffs,  at  an  elevation  of 
8,700  feet,  so  near,  that  his  flanking  parties  could 
converse  with  each  other  with  ease,  and  at  night  the 
troops  found  the  atmosphere  in  their  tents  delightful 


The  travellers  met  by  the  troops  and  even 
men  going  to  field  or  market  were  armed  with 
swords  and  shields,  matchlocks,  spears,  and  some 
had  bows  and  arrows;  and  it  was  remarked  that 
instead  of  the  softness  of  expression  and  bearing 
so  apparent  in  our  own  sepoys,  these  mountaineers 
had  a  proud  step,  a  keen  stern  eye,  and  the  loud 
rough  voice  of  those  who  live  perpetually  in  the 
open  air. 

At  Shekhabad,  eighteen  miles  from  Maidan  (the 
first  halting  place),  one  brigade  made  a  divergence, 
and  effected  a  junction  with  the  column  at 
Haftasia.     After  an  eleven  miles'  march  from  the 

The  general  permitted  the  officers  to  shoot,  and 
many  a  fine  bag  of  snipe  and  teal  was  acquired  on 
the  march. 

After  passing  Shashgao  the  famous  Pass  of 
Sher-i-Dana,  9,000  feet  in  height,  was  left  behind, 
and  the  troops  marched  near  the  tomb  of  the  great 
Sultan  Mahmoud  of  Ghazni,  who  died  in  the  year 
1030,  weeping  over  the  gold  and  precious  stones 
from  which  he  was  parting  for  ever.  His  tomb, 
situated  amid  a  solemn  grove,  is  a  low  square  tower, 
with  an  elegantly  arched  and  pointed  doorway. 

Here  the  head  men  of  Sher-i-Dana  came  forth  in 
their  picturesque  costumes  and  escorted  the  general 

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two-thirds  of  the  way  through  the  mountains,  by  a 
road  that  must  have  been  constructed  at  enormous 
labour,  and  is  overhung  by  ebony,  iron,  and  other 
magnificent  forest  trees. 

On  the  15th  he  reached  Ghazni,  on  the  left 
bank  of  a  river  bearing  the  same  name,  eighty-eight 
miles  west  of  Cabul,  and  commanding  access  to  the 
Gomal  Pass,  a  point  of  great  strategical  importance. 
A  few  miles  farther  on,  the  column  passed  Ahmed 
Kheyl,  the  scene  of  Sir  Donald's  fight  in  the  pre- 
ceding April,  and  the  grass  was  already  green  on  the 
graves  of  those  who  had  fallen  there  and  been 
buried  almost  side  by  side,  friend  and  foe  alike. 

Roberts  now  relieved  the  garrison  of  Khelat-i- 
Ghilzie,  after  traversing  240  miles  in  seventeen 
marches.  The  garrison  under  Colonel  lanner 
consisted  of  only  170  men  of  the  66th,  and  a  por- 
tion of  a  Belooch  corps,  with  two  pieces  of  cannon. 
He  took  on  the  garrison  with  him,  making  over  the 
fort  to  an  old  sirdar  named  Mohammed  Sadik  Khan, 
a  Toki  chief  Up  to  this  date,  his  casualties  had 
been  only  one  Highlanjier  and  seven  sepoys  dead, 
with  several  missing,  who  were  supposed  to  have 
been  murdered. 

One  day  there  was  some  skirmishing,  when  part 
of  the  rear-guard  was  attacked,  in  a  deep  and 
romantic  valley  by  the  margin  of  a  beautiful  stream, 
by  some  fanatical  robbers,  as  it  was  coming  into 
camp,  but  a  dozen  or  more  of  the  assailants  were 
quickly  shot  down. 

The  hour  of  march  was  generally  from  two  to  half- 
past  each  morning.  After  Khelat-i-Ghilzie  was  left 
behind,  "  during  our  last  week's  marches,"  wrote  a 
cavalry  officer,  "  the  scenery  has  been  exquisite  in 
its  variety,  displaying  a  singular  combination  of 
romantic  wildness  with  charming  fertility.  One 
day  our  columns  would  wind  through  luxurious 
valleys  interspersed  with  hamlets,  vineyards,  and 
flower  gardens,  and  the  next  we  found  ourselves 
struggling  up  mountain  ridges  and  forcing  our  path 
through  Alp-like  passes,  overhung  by  toppling  cliffs, 
looking  as  though  some  terrific  convulsion  of  nature 
had  rifted  the  hill-side  asunder,  and  scarped  the 
precipice  more  regularly  than  could  be  effected  by 
the  hand  of  the  cleverest  engineer.  Sometimes 
looking  below,  we  saw  streams  rippling  in  the 
moonlit  and  misty  dells,  and  above  us  rose  naked 
rocks  and  splintered  precipices,  while  the  varied 
uniforms  of  our  moving  stream  of  soldiers,  their 
glittering  arms— now  seen,  now  lost  amid  the 
windings  of  our  route — gave  a  moving  and  pano- 
ramic character  to  the  tout  ensemble^  that  would 
make  the  fortune  of  an  artist  if  reproduced  on 

From  their  camp  on  the  banks  of  the  Tarnak,  on 

the  26th  of  August,  the  troops  were  a  little  later 
in  beginning  their  march.  There  was  no  moon, 
and  at  that  early  hour  the  sky  was  cloudy,  with 
fitful  gusts  of  rain,  but  after  the  stars  came  out, 
the  dark  mountain  masses  became  visible  for  many 
a  mile,  and  among  them — as  scouts  had  informed 
General  Roberts — thousands  of  Afghans  were 
lurking,  and  thirsting  for  the  blood  of  his  troops. 
At  four  a.m.  the  leading  regiments  moved  ofT 
quietly  and  without  being  molested  through  a 
defile,  and  it  was  not  until  the  rear-guard  approached 
it,  that  a  heavy,  ill-aimed  fire  came  rattling  out  of 
the  darkness,  from  a  concealed  breastwork  con- 
structed among  the  rocks. 

The  baggage  was  clear  of  the  defile,  and  all  the 
guard  had  to  do  was  keep  these  robbers  at  bay  til! 
the  long  train  of  mules  and  camels  reached  the 
shelter  of  the  main  body.  The  flanks  of  it  were 
held  by  some  Highlanders  and  native  troops — ^all 
picked  marksmen  —  and  these,  unknown  to  the 
enemy,  dominated  the  breast-work  formed  on  the 
right  of  the  road,  and  were  for  a  time  hidden  by 
the  tall  crags,  but  for  a  time  only,  for  no  sooner  had 
the  officer  commanding  the  rear-guard  opened  on 
the  sungah  a  fire  of  shrapnel,  common  shell,  and 
shot  from  his  mountain  guns,  than  the  enemy  in 
swarms  came  rushing  down  from  the  higher  slop>es, 
leaping  over  clefts  and  chasms  that  none  but  a 
born  hill-man  would  face,  and  with  loud  yells 
rushed  to  attack  our  flanking  parties. 

The  shrapnel  fire,  while  it  prevented  them  fi-om 
assaulting  the  main  body  of  the  guard,  drove  them 
on  the  very  muzzles  and  bayonets  of  the  flankers, 
and  the  firing  and  fighting  now  seemed  to  be  in 
mid  air. 

The  Afghan  mode  of  fighting  somewhat  re- 
sembled that  of  the  Scottish  Highlanders  till  the 
middle  of  the  last  century.  A  musketry  fire  is 
poured  in,  and  under  cover  of  it  the  fearless 
swordsmen  rush  to  the  attack,  only  too  glad  to 
have  a  hand-to-hand  combat  with  men  whose 
weapon  they  deem  only  a  bayonet 

All  their  efforts,  however,  failed  to  dislodge  our 
pickets  from  the  crags,  and  about  an  hour  after  the 
conflict  began  a  larger  body  of  them,  who  had  only 
fired  an  occasional  shot,  moved  forward  from  their 
position,  their  juzailchees  and  matchlockmen  post- 
ing themselves  skilfully  amid  a  pine  forest,  ^md 
opening  a  rattling  and  roaring  fire,  which,  with 
better  marksmen,  would  have  proved  destructive  in 
the  extreme. 

The  sharp  and  unfailing  fire  delivered  by  the 
Highlanders  and  sepoys  rendered  all  their  efforts 
abortive  ;  they  fell  fast  on  every  hand,  and  the  rest 
were  driven  up  the  hills,  leaving  numbers  of  dying 

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and  wounded  men,  rolling  and  shrieking  in  agony, 
yet  thinking  more  of  the  faith  they  fought  for  than 
of  the  life  they  were  losing. 

These  men  fought  after  the  usual  manner  of 
the  Afghan  peasantry ;  but  the  troops  of  Ayoub 
Khan  were  well-disciplined.  The  experiences  of 
our  leaders,  since  the  days  of  Lord  Keane,  were 
that  the  Afghan  soldiery  were  an  armed  rabble ; 
now  the  whole  force  of  Ayoub  was  a  well-ordered 
one,  and,  as  an  officer  wrote  in  the  United  Service 
Magazine^  "drill-sergeants  and  adjutants  don't 
drop  down  from  heaven;  nor  is  musket  practice 
learned  by  intuition.  Armstrong  guns  don't  grow 
on  the  rocks  of  Afghanistan,  neither  are  even  such 
tactics  as  Ayoub  Khan's  troops  showed  themselves 
up  to,  learned  without  teachers." 

On  the  31st  of  August  General  Roberts  was 
close  to  Candahar,  and  ascertained  that  Ayoub  had 
his  head-quarters  at  Mazra,  that  all  his  best  forces 
were  with  him,  and  that  he  had  been  endeavouring 
by  mines  to  break  up  the  roads  leading  to  his 
position  from  Candahar. 

In  the  afternoon  the  general  sent  for  his 
brigadiers,  Macpherson,  Hugh  Gough,  Macgregor, 
and  Colonel  K  F.  Chapman,  R.A.,  Chief  of  the 
Sta^r,  and  expressed  his  desire  for  an  acute  cavalry  re- 
connaissance, which  was  to  be  further  utilised  to  clear 
the  hills  that  lay  beyond  the  old  cantonments,  and 
which  were  held  by  the  enemy  in  considerable  force, 
and  commanded  the  water  supply  in  that  direction. 

At  first  General  Roberts  thought  it  would  be 
necessary  only  to  drive  these  troops  from  the  hills 
and  so  prevent  them  from  plumping  shells  into  our 
camp ;  but  after-consideration  induced  him  to  make 
the  reconnaissance  in  strength  and  convert  it  into  a 
serious  attack  if  deemed  necessary ;  at  all  events 
the  position  was  to  be  inspected,  and  it  was  to  be  as- 
certained if  there  were  any  possibility  of  turning  it 

At  ten  a,m.,  on  the  31st,  the  party  moved  off 
under  Brigadier  Gough.  It  consisted  of  the  3rd 
Bengal  Cavalry,  the  15th  Sikhs,  two  mountain  guns, 
and  a  few  of  Macpherson's  brigade.  Bearing  away 
under  cover  of  some  low  hills,  to  the  right  went 
the  cavalry  and  guns,  while  Herbert  Macpherson 
marched  his  infantry  steadily  to  the  front  The 
proposed  plan  was  to  drive  the  enemy  off  the  low 
range  of  hills,  that  acted  as  a  kind  of  glacis  to  the 
Pir  Paimal  range,  south-west  of  Candahar,  while 
Gough  and  Chapman  took  the  guns  and  cavalry 
along  the  Herat  road,  in  the  hope  of  luring  the 
enemy  to  turn  his  attention  in  that  direction ;  and 
the  plan  succeeded  well 

At  one  p.m.  the  infantry  and  guns  halted,  while 
the  cavalry  advanced  two  miles  farther,  and  found 
the  enemy  strongly  entrenched  at  the  village  of  Pir 

Paimal,  from  whence  they  opened  fire.  The 
cavalry  then  fell  back  slowly,  while  the  guns  came 
into  action  to  test  the  range. 

Little  resistance  was  made  to  Macpherson,  who 
headed  the  infantry  on  a  grey  charger,  and  before 
he  could  use  the  bayonet  the  Afghan  pickets  on  the 
hills  were  seen  streaming  rearward  into  some  ad- 
jacent gardens.  At  the  foot  of  the  hills  Macpherson 
dismounted  and  gave  his  horse  to  an  orderly.  He 
then  threw  forward  his  men  in  skirmishing  order, 
with  right  and  left  supports,  and  a  feeding  reserve 
in  the  rear.  He  sent  a  company  of  Sikhs  to  turn 
the  enemy's  left,  and  taking  post  in  the  centre  of 
his  skirmishers,  desired  them  to  keep  in  line  and 
pace  with  himself,  and  in  this  fashion  he  proceeded 
steadily  up  the  heights.  "  The  Afghans  have  shown 
us  what  they  can  do,"  wrote  an  officer,  "and  of 
what  stuff  they  are  made  when  opposed  to  native 
troops,  however  good;  but  they  were  not  quite 
prepared  for  the  direct  assault  of  a  Highland  regi- 
ment, which,  in  open  day,  with  its  colonel  at  its 
head,  was  steadily  climbing  a  steep  ascent,  and 
would  infallibly  try  conclustons  with  the  bayonet  in 
a  few  moments.  The  Afghans,  therefore,  retired 
as  we  advanced,  an  occasional  shot  from  both  sides 
being  all  the  damage  done.  Our  troops  pursued 
them  along  the  ridges,  and  here  several  were  over- 
taken by  the  sturdy  Highlanders,  whose  mountain 
training  was  now  of  value  in  the  race." 

A  great  body  of  the  enemy  now  came  pouring 
into  a  hollow  in  front  till  it  was  filled  with  them, 
but  there,  with  shouts  of  defiance,  they  were  held 
in  check  by  the  steady  fire  of  the,  15th  Sikhs,  and 
the  whole  position  became  enveloped  in  smoke, 
streaked  with  flashes.  Macpherson  ultimately 
allowed  them  to  come  within  200  yards,  when  he 
rapidly  closed  in  upon  his  left  files  until  he  came 
in  front  of  them,  and  opened  a  heavy  file  firing 
which  did  terrible  execution,  and  drove  them  again 
to  cover,  some  into  a  wood  on  the  left,  and  the  re- 
mainder into  a  nullah  below. 

Macpherson,  meanwhile,  was  looking  anxiously 
to  see  Gough's  cavaby  come  riding  up  upon  his 
right,  for  the  Afghans  from  the  walled  enclosures  of 
the  villages  had  again  opened  a  smart  fire  upon 
him,  supported  by  their  guns  upon  a  ridge  above 
them,  and  these  were  making  perilous  shell  practice. 

Half  an  hour  was  passed  in  anxiety,  and  still  there 
was  no  sign  of  Brigadier  Gough ;  but  then  it  became 
known  that  he  was  hotly  engaged  on  the  right,  and 
with  his  two  litde  mountain  guns  was  holding  not 
less  than  5,000  Afghans  at  bay  ! 

The  latter  broke,  but  rallied  again  and  again, 
and  each  time  with  increasing  numbers,  attacking 
his  front  and  left ;  but  as  they  came  on  in  masses 

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the  deadly  shrapnel  smote  them  down  like  grass, 
tearing  through  them  from  front  to  rear,  and  the 
moment  these  masses  reeled  or  recoiled,  Gough 
dashed  into  them  with  his  cavalry,  and  hewed  them 
down  on  every  side  like  sheep,  driving  them  to  rocks 
and  broken  ground,  where  horses  were  unable  to 
follow  them. 

Brigadier  Macpherson  now  sprang  on  his  horse, 
and  accompanied  by  his  brigade-major.  Captain 
R.  E.  C  Jarvis,  of  the  67th  Foot,  and  an  orderly 
bugler,  galloped  away  to  the  eminence  on  the  right, 
and  through  his  field-glass  could  make  out  the 
somewhat  critical  position  of  Brigadier  Gough.  The 
former  had  with  him  parties  of  the  Gordon  High- 
landers, 23rd  Pioneers,  24th  Bengal  Native  In- 
fantry, the  2nd  Sirmoor  Ghoorka  Regiment — in  all 
only  400  men,  as  it  had  been  deemed  advisable  to 
keep  the  main  body  of  his  brigade  fresh  for  the  too 
probable  hard  work  of  the  following  day. 

To  strengthen  Gough's  hands,  Macpherson  re- 
solved to  quit  the  position  he  had  gained,  drew 
back  his  left  and  concentrated  his  strength  on  the 
other  flank,  in  the  bed  of  a  stream,  a  tributary  of 
the  Argandab,  while  on  hb  left  rose  the  abrupt 
slopes  of  the  hills  he  had  just  swept  and  quitted. 
They  were  thickly  timbered  with  forests  of  dark 
pines,  with  open  spaces  and  knolls,  most  excellently 
arranged  for  the  posting  of  pickets.  The  ground 
in  his  front  opened  into  the  beautiful  Argandab 
valley,  intersected  by  many  glistening  streams  and 
other  watercourses. 

Macpherson  soon  saw  that  his  position  was  not 
a  desirable  one ;  that,  in  short,  his  little  force  was 
posted  in  a  deep  gorge  with  heights  towering  on 
each  flank,  and  in  front  a  narrow  defile  nine  miles 
long,  with  an  enemy  well  posted  on  the  impending 
crags,  from  which  they  could  hurl  enormous  masses 
of  rock,  already  loosened  by  crowbars  for  the 
purpose.  On  his  left  was  a  wing  of  Ayoub's 
army  ready  to  open  an  enfilade  fire  if  he  moved 
that  way ;  and  to  crown  all,  night  was  fast  closing 

He  resolved  to  approach  by  moving  on  the  left 
of  the  Karez  Hill,  up  a  track  which  was  simply  the 
bed  of  a  stream  encumbered  by  rough  boulders 
and  enormous  masses  of  rock  tufted  with  mangrove 
and  jungle,  and  then  the  progress  was  rendered 
slow  by  the  men  having  to  proceed  in  Indian  file, 
at  a  time  when  they  were  sorely  fatigued,  though 
the  pure  mountain  stream,  up  which  they  pro- 
ceeded, prevented  further  suffering  from  thirst 

They  had  scarcely  cleared  the  pass  through  which 
the  stream  was  running,  and  arrived  within  some 
hundred  yards,  when  a  sudden  musketry  fire 
spurted  out  from  the  broken  and  jungly  ground. 

and  hundreds  of  Afghan  swordsmen  flung  them- 
selves like  a  living  flood  upon  the  2nd  Ghoorkas, 
who  were  leading,  but  Macpherson  quickly  formed 
them  in  company  squares  en  echelon.  Supported  by 
the  Gordon  Highlanders,  they  poured  in  a  deadly 
volley,  and  then  both  regiments  conmienced  inde- 
pendent file-firing  from  the  right  of  faces. 

The  Afghans,  unable  to  withstand  this,  gave  way, 
and  took  to  flight,  pursued  by  the  active  litdc 
soldiers  of  Nepaul,  whose  terrible  kookeries  made 
short  work  of  those  they  overtook.  A  cavalry 
trumpet  was  now  heard  ringing  out  on  the  extreme 
right,  and  the  bannerols  of  the  Lancers,  led  by 
Gough,  were  seen  fluttering  down  the  green  crest  of 
a  hill,  and  the  junction  was  effected. 

The  enemy  had  at  one  time  come  on  in  such 
strength  and  boldness,  that  it  was  deemed  advisable 
to  have  the  whole  of  the  3rd  Brigade  and  part  of  the 
I  St  under  arms,  but  they  were  flying  now,  pursued 
by  the  Ghoorkas  and  Lancers,  yet  turning  at  bay 
ever  and  anon,  and  refusing  all  quarter  \  when  the 
latter  came  back,  their  horses  were  covered  with 
foam,  and  the  bannerob  of  their  lances  were 
dripping  with  blood. 

But  the  villages  in  the  plain  were  yet  to  be 
attacked.  These  were  three  in  number,  under  the 
shelter  of  three  great  heights — spurs  of  the  vast  and 
conical-shaped  mountains  in  the  rear.  The  most 
strongly  fortified  was  the  Chuzireae.  On  the  loftiest 
peak,  commanding  the  whole  position,  the  Afghans 
were  formed  in  great  strength,  with  standards  flying, 
and  all  the  natural  difficulties  of  the  ground  were 
enhanced  by  the  formation  of  sungahs^  or  breast- 
works, to  resist  an  assault 

Macpherson*s  line  of  skirmishers,  spread  across 
his  front,  had  driven  in  all  the  outlying  parties  of 
the  enemy,  and  had  closed  up  to  within  500  yards 
of  Chuzireae,  and  were  halted,  awaiting  supports 
and  the  arrival  of  the  mountain  batteries. 

When  the  latter  opened  fire  with  shot  and  shell, 
the  troops  crossed  the  level  space,  and  then  began 
a  swift  ascent  from  rock  to  rock,  and  ten  yards  in 
front  of  his  kilted  men,  the  most  conspicuous  officer 
there,  was  the  colonel  of  the  92  nd,  who  carried  each 
defence  in  succession  at  the  bayonet's  point,  breast- 
ing up  the  mountain  side  steadily  and  gallantly, 
and  standard  after  standard  vanished  out  of  sight 
as  the  works  were  captured,  and  the  chief  vilk^e, 
with  its  height,  fell  into  our  hands,  the  guns  mean- 
while shelling  the  fugitives  on  the  ridges  beyond. 

The  object  of  the  reconnaissance  was  now  fully 
attained,  and  the  key  to  Ayoub's  position  felt  and 
mastered.  Such  was  the  stirring  prelude  to  the 
great  battle  of  the  morrow,  and  with  it  the  march 
ot  Roberts  may  be  said  to  have  ended. 

Digitized  by 


C'^ndahar  1 




1*HE  THIRD  AFGHAN   WAR   (concluded)  :— THE   BATTLE  OF   BABA  WALI,   OR   CANDAHAR. 

Sir  Frederick  Roberts  now  knew  that  the  main 
position  of  Ayoub  was  on  the  Baba  Wali  range,  on 
the  right  bank  of  the  Argandab  River — a  ridge,  the 
topmost  crests  of  which  are  fiilly  5,000  feet  high, 
and  capped  with  snow  in  winter  where  they  are  not 
fringed  with  forests  of  solemn  dark  pine,  which  in 
some  places  extend  down  to  the  plain.  Many 
villages  studded  the  mountains,  one  of  the  chief 
being  Gundi-Moollah-Sahibdad,  and  the  roads  be- 
tween these  were  mere  mule  tracks. 

There  is  only  one  other  pass,  the  Murcha  Kotal, 
due  north  of  Candahar.  The  mountain  on  the 
eastern  side  is  very  precipitous,  and  along  its 
southern  base  lie  the  plains  of  Pir  Paimal,  over- 
looked by  scenery  of  the  grandest  description,  and 
south-west,  always  hazy  in  the  distance,  stretch  the 
still  more  vast  plains  of  Candahar.  After  quitting 
the  base  of  the  hills,  the  Argandab  widens  in  its 
course  southwards,  and  at  certain  seasons  expands 
to  a  great  sheet  of  water. 

Ayoub's  head-quarters  were  at  the  village  of 
Mazra,  in  a  narrow  vale  on  the  northern  slopes, 
and  strongly  entrenched 

Few  oflScers,  perhaps,  slept  much  on  the  night 
before  the  eventful  ist  of  September.  A  bright 
moon  silvered  the  groves  of  the  plain  and  the 
waters  of  the  Axgandab,  and  ever  and  anon  the 
howls  of  the  prowling  jackals  were  heard  around 
the  guarded  camp. 

The  army  breakfasted  betimes,  almost  while  the 
stin  was  below  the  horizon,  and  all  officers  com- 
manding brigades  were  summoned  to  the  general's 
tent  at  half-past  fi\t  a.m.  on  the  morning  of  the  ist, 
C^neral  Primrose  being  present  among  them.  As 
to  what  ensued  we  must  quote  from  the  "  Personal 
Records  of  the  Candahar  Campaign." 

"'I  have  sent  for  you,  gentlemen,'"  said  Sir 
Frederick  Roberts,  "*not  to  a  council  of  war, 
which  implies  a  difficulty  or  a  doubt  in  regard  to 
action,  but  to  point  out  to  you  my  plans  for  the 
attack  I  propose  making  this  morning.  From  the 
report  made  to  me  yesterday  by  the  chief  of  the 
staff,  Colonel  Chapman,  I  find  that  Ayoub's 
position  is  as  follows: — His  camps  are  situated 
on  the  range  of  hills  extending  from  the  Argandab 
westerly  to  the  Pir  Paimal.  To  pass  this  ridge, 
there  are,  as  doubtless  you  may  be  aware,  only  two 
openings  from  Candahar,  the  Baba  Wali  and 
Murcha.     The  latter  is  the  more  difficult,  but  the 

former  is  the  more  strongly  held  by  the  enemy, 
who  have  several  guns  on  its  crest  The  Murcha 
Pass  is  covered  by  several  dried-up  canals,  which 
General  Cough  and  Colonel  Chapman  consider 
formidable  obstacles.  Then  in  rear  of  thb  posi- 
tion there  is,  you  will  find,  a  detached  hill  marked 
here  on  the  map,  and  connected  with  the  outer 
ridge  by  a  number  of  detached  orchards  and  gar- 
dens. I  purpose,  therefore,  attacking  the  south- 
west portion  of  the  ridge  with  three  brigades  of 
infantry  massed  in  rear  of  the  Piquet  Hill,  while 
our  40-pounders  on  the  extreme  right  of  the  hill, 
supported  by  the  7  th  Fusiliers  and  Rifles,  engage 
and  silence  Ayoub^s  guns  on  the  Baba  Wali.  The 
Candahar  garrison  will  meanwhile  watch,  and  be 
ready  to  operate  on  the  Murcha  Pass,  while  part  of 
General  Cough's  cavalry  will  act  independently  on 
the  left,  and  cut  off  any  fugitives  on  that  flank. 
The  real  attack  will,  therefore,  be  made  first  by 
clearing  the  gardens  in  front  of  Gundi-Moollah- 
Sahibdad,  then  by  storming  that  village  in  front, 
then  by  turning  the  Paimal  Hill,  and  finally  taking 
the  Baba  Wali  in  reverse,  and  the  sirdars'  camp  at 
Mazra  in  flank.  I  feel  convinced,  gentlemen,  that 
if  the  villages  and  ridge  of  Pir  Paimal  can  be 
turned,  the  Baba  Wali  Kotal  would  be  untenable. 
I  look,  gentlemen,  to  you  to  carry  out  my  in- 
structions, and  I  leave  the  details  to  you.'" 

By  eight  o'clock  the  whole  army  was  in  position, 
the  tents  struck,  to  be  ready  for  any  contingency, 
and  stored,  with  everything  else,  within  a  walled 
enclosure.  One  day's  cooked  rations  were  in  the 
haversack  of  every  officer  and  man.  As  the  troops 
took  their  ground,  says  the  author  of  the  "  Per- 
sonal Records,"  it  was  impossible  not  to  be  struck 
by  the  splendid  appearance  and  peculiarly  fine 
physique  of  the  Highland  regiments,  "  their  chest 
measurement,  muscular  development,  and  the 
bronzed  hues  of  sun  and  wind  giving  a  martial 
appearance  beyond  all  other  corps;"  and  he  adds 
that  on  this  morning  he  shared  the  national  dish 
of  oatmeal  porridge  with  the  Gordon  Highlanders. 

We  have  stated  in  Roberts's  words  briefly  the 
duty  which  was  assigned  to  the  Candahar  garrison, 
namely,  to  watch  the  Murcha  Pass,  and,  besides 
this,  to  attack  the  Baba  Wali  with  the  heavy  cannon, 
making  also  a  feigned  attack,  while  the  real  one  was 
to  be  delivered  by  the  ist  and  2nd  Brigades  on  the 
left,  and  to  be  worked  round  to  the  enemy's  right 

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For  this  task  General  Primrose  had  with  him 
four  companies  of  the   7th    Fusiliers,   the    19th 

the   canal  at  Haidar   Khan  to    the  Piquet  Hill 
on  the  right  and  the  Karez  Hill  on  the  left 



if.aCcATth,  4  0».a8thN.l.  ;i?,  t/n  R.H.A. ;  C.  1  Co.  66th.  i  Co.  aSth  N.l. ;  A  «  Ca  »8ih  N.l. ;  r,  c/a  R.  A. ; /;  a  Co«.  66ch,  6/8  R.A. ; 
G,  X  Co.  66ch,  a  Cos.  tst  N.I. ;  H,  5/11  R.A.  4o-Prs. ;  /,  4  Cos.  7th,  4th  N.L,  19th  Sappers ;  K,  3rd  Bombay  Light  Cavalry,  yd  Sdndo 
Horse,  Poonah  Horse. 

Native  Infantry,  two  companies  of  the  ist  Ghootka 
Grenadiers,  four  companies  of  the  66th  and  two  of 
the  28th  Native  Infismtry,  all  holding  the  line  from 

Between  these  two  eminences  was  posted  a 
battery  of  artillery  to  cover  the  real  attack,  to  be 
delivered  on    Gundi-Moollah-Sahibdad,   while   in 

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rear  of  them  were  the  brigades  of  Macpherson  and 
Baker.  To  the  left  of  the  Karez  Hill,  to  cover  the 
advance  of  the  latter,  was  a  battery  of  screw  moun- 
tain guns,  and  on  the  left  of  these,  commanding  a 
village  named  Gundigan,  was  a  battery  of  Royal 
Horse  Artillery,  under  Major  Tillard. 

We  can  imagine  the  emotions  with  which  Hector 
Maclaine,  then  a  closely-guarded  prisoner  in 
Ayoub's  camp,  must  have  beheld  these  preparations 
on  this  auspicious  morning. 

At  half-past  nine  a.nL  General  Roberts  mounted 
his  well-known  brown  Arab,  and,  riding  to  the  west 
of  the  Karez  Hill,  from  whence  he  could  survey  the 
whole  field,  gave  the  signal  for  action,  and  the 
deep  boom  of  four  40-pounders  announced  that  the 
strife  had  commenced,  and  Baker's  brigade  began 
to  advance  in  skirmishing  order,  with  the  shot  of 
Tillard*s  battery  booming  and  screaming  over  their 
heads,  while  they  lay  down,  till  reinforced,  in  front 
of  a  wooded  hill,  from  whence  a  heavy  musketry 
fire  was  opened  on  them. 

Roberts  sent  an  orderly  to  General  Baker,  with 
orders  to  work  more  to  the  left  out  of  range  of  Gundi- 
MooUah,  idiich  was  held  by  a  strong  Afghan  force, 
that  fired  with  remarkable  precision,  and  which  he 
shelled  with  the  screw  battery. 

"The  instructions  given  by  Major-General  Ross 
to  Brigadier-General  Macpherson,'^  says  Sir 
Frederick  in  his  despatch,  "were  to  make  his  first 
attack  on  that  village,  after  which  he  was  to  clear 
the  enemy  from  the  enclosures  which  lay  between 
it  and  the  low  spur  of  the  hill  short  of  Pir  PaimaL 
He  further  ordered  Brigadier-General  Baker  to 
advance  in  a  westerly  direction,  and  clear  the  gardens 
and  orchards  in  his  immediate  front  The  attack 
upon  the  village  of  Gundi-MooUah-Sahibdad  was 
made  by  the  Ghoorkas  and  92nd  Highlanders,  under 
the  command  of  Lieutenant-Colonel  A.  Battye  and 
Lieutenant-Colonel  Parker  respectively,  two  regi- 
ments of  the  I  St  Brigade  being  in  support  The 
village  was  carried  in  the  most  dashing  style, 
Ghoorkas  and  Highlanders  vying  with  each  other 
in  the  rapidity  of  their  advance.  The  enemy 
withdrew  sullenly  and  leisurely,  a  good  number 
remaining  in  the  village  to  the  last,  to  receive  a 
bayonet  charge." 

All  this  was  achieved  under  a  hot  fire  from  the 
garden  walls  and  house  windows,  and  the  92nd 
distinguished  themselves  in  many  desperate  hand- 
to-hand  combats. 

Assisted  by  Tillard's  Horse  Artillery  guns.  Baker 
and  Gough  were  steadily  advancing.  In  the  first 
line  of  the  infantry  brigade  were  the  72nd  High- 
landers and  the  2nd  Sikhs,  with  the  3rd  Sikhs  and 
5th  Ghoorkas  as  supports,  with  the  2nd  Beloochees 

acting  as  a  reserve.  Most  desperate  indeed  was 
the  fighting  among  the  loopholed  wall-enclosures, 
the  Ghazis,  who  fought  here,  frequently  hurling 
themselves  like  tigers  upon  our  soldiers,  dashing 
their  shields  against  the  bayonets  till  the  brasses 
rang,  their  eyes  glaring  wildly,  and  their  bronzed 
visages  smeared  with  gunpowder  and  blood. 
Hurling  themselves  against  our  ranks,  which  were 
shoulder  to  shoulder,  in  the  grand  old  British 
fashion,  they  grappled  with  the  men,  and  strove 
to  wrest  their  muskets  away,  undeterred  by  the 
volleys  poured  into  their  very  eyes.  So  close  was 
the  attack  that  one  of  the  Highlanders  was  cloven 
to  death  through  his  helmet;  and  here  their 
colonel,  Brownlow,  fell  in  the  act  of  giving  an 
order  to  his  men. 

"The  loss  in  clearing  these  enclosures,"  con- 
tinues Sir  Frederick  in  his  despatch,  "was  neces- 
sarily severe,  Lieutenant-Colonel  Brownlow,  CR, 
Captain  Frome,  and  Lance>Sergeant  Cameron — a 
grand  specimen  of  a  Highland  soldier — being 
among  those  who  fell  Lieutenant-Colonel  Brown- 
low met  his  death  while  gallantly  leading  his 
regiment,  the  72nd  Highlanders,  and  in  him  the 
army  has  experienced  a  great  loss.  He  had  on 
many  occasions  highly  distinguished  himself  as  a 
leader — at  the  Peiwar  Kotal,  during  the  operations 
around  Cabul  at  the  latter  end  of  1879,  and 
notably  on  December  14th,  by  his  brilliant  con- 
duct in  the  attack  and  capture  of  the  Asmai 
Heights.  Of  the  regiments  of  this  (the  2nd) 
brigade,  the  72nd  Highlanders  and  the  2nd  Sikhs 
had  the  chief  share  of  the  fighting.  They  were 
the  two  leading  battalions,  and  frequently  had  to 
fix  bayonets  to  check  the  determined  rushes  of  the 

Major  Ashe  records  the  narrow  escape  of  an 
officer  named  Menzies  at  Gundi-Moollah.  When 
capturing  a  walled  enclosure,  he  suddenly  found 
himself  in  an  ambush  of  fully  300  Ghazis,  whose 
leader,  a  tall  and  powerful  fanatic,  rushed  at  him 
with  a  terrific  yell,  brandishing  the  while  a  tulwar 
with  one  hand  and  a  standard  with  the  other. 
Accepting  the  challenge,  the  Highlander  rushed 
half-way  to  meet  him.  The  Ghazi  raised  his 
tulwar  to  give  one  of  those  terrible  back-strokes, 
which,  if  delivered  straight  at  the  neck,  are  so 
difficult  to  ward  off.  But  Menzies,  quick  as 
lightning,'ran  him  through  the  heart  Then  before 
he  could  extricate  his  weapon,  which  was  a  true 
old  Scottish  Andrew  Ferrara,  he  was  cut  down  by 
two  Ghazis  from  behind.  These  in  turn  were 
despatched  by  a  corporal  of  the  72nd  Highlander, 
and  Menzies  was  carried  into  an  empty  adjacent 
house,  but  no  sooner  had  his  men  quitted  him  than 

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a  Ghan  crept  in  through  a  window,  and  stabbed 
him  in  the  shoulder.  A  Ghoorka,  who  saw  the  act, 
was  fortunately  in  time  to  despatch  the  fanatic  with 
his  kookerie. 

After  most  severe  fighting,  the  ist  and  2nd 
Brigades  emerged  at  the  point  of  the  hill  near  Pir 
Paimaly  "and  bringing  their  left  shoulder^  forward/' 
reported  the  general,  "  they  pressed  on,  and  swept 
the  enemy  through  the  closely-wooded  gardens  and 
orchards  which  cover  the  western  slop^  of  the  hill 
The  village  of  Pir  Paimal  was  in  pur  possession 
soon  after  nooa  When  I  heard  from  Major- 
General  Ross  of  the  success  of  the  troops  under 
his  command,  I  determined  to  support  his  further 
advance  by  the  3rd  Brigade,  which  had  been  drawn 
up  in  front  of  the  village  of  Abasabad,  with  the 
double  object  of  being  a  reserve  for  the  ist  and  2nd 
Brigades,  and  of  meeting  a  possible  coimter-attack  by 
the  enemy  from  the  Baba  Wali  Pass.  The  capture 
of  the  Pir  Paimal,  however,  brought  our  troops  in 
rear  of  the  pass,  and  feeling  that  nothing  was  now 
to  be  feared  from  the  enemy's  left,  I  pushed  on 
with  the  3rd  Brigade  to  join  General  Ross." 

The  latter  had  found  the  troops  he  encountered 
to  be  Ayoub's  regulars,  belonging,  it  was  believed, 
to  the  revolted  Candahar  regiments.  Whatever 
they  were,  Ross  soon  had  them  in  full  flight  up  the 
valley,  pursued  by  a  hot  artillery  fire,  dealing 
death  and  wounds  among  them.  Ross,  on  seeing 
the  advantage  won,  and  knowing  well  the  courage 
and  resolution  of  his  soldiers,  had  determined  to 
push  on  without  waiting  for  reinforcements.  The 
position  to  which  the  enemy  retired,  after  leaving 
the  Pir  Paimal,  was  an  entrenched  camp  westward 
of  the  Baba  Wali  Kotal,  commanding  an  open 
^>ace  of  ground.  This  entrenchment  they  were 
evidently  prepared  to  defend  resolutely ;  reinforce- 
ments were  rapidly  pushed  up  from  their  reserves, 
while  the  guns  on  the  Baba  Wali  Kotal  were 
wheeled  round,  so  as  to  increase  the  heavy  artillery 
fire  that  was  poured  upon  our  troops. 

It  became  necessary,  says  General  Roberts,  to 
take  this  position  at  once  by  storm,  and  recognising 
this  with  true  soldierly  instinct,  Major  G.  Stewart 
White,  who  was  leading  the  advanced  companies  of 
the  92nd  Highlanders,  called  upon  his  men  for 
"just  one  charge  more  to  settle  the  business." 

The  screw-gun  battery  had  been  shelling  the 
enemy  with  a  disastrous  and  well-dfrected  fire,  which 
was  supported  by  a  portion  of  the  2nd  Ghoorkas 
(or  Prince  of  Wales's  Own)  and  the  23rd  Pioneers, 
Joyfully  and  with  alacrity  the  Highlanders  responded 
to  the  call  of  their  favourite  leader,  and,  without 
pausmg  to  recover  breath,  drove  the  enemy  from 
their  entrenchments  at  the  point  of  the  bayonet. 

Then  it  was  that  Roberts  exclaimed,  "Nothing 
could  be  finer  than  the  rush  made  by  those  two 
regiments,  the  Ghoorkas  and  the  Highlanders,  and 
how  well  the  23rd  and  24th  worked  up  in  sup< 

The  gallant  Stewart  White,  ever  foremost,  was 
the  first  to  reach  the  enemy's  guns,  being  followed 
by  the  Sepoy  Inderbir  Lama,  who,  placing  his  rifle 
upon  one  of  the  guns,  exclaimed  that  it  was  "  cap- 
tured in  the  name  of  the  Prince  of  Wales's  Own 
Ghoorkas!"  Another  was  secured  by  Major 
White,  and  special  mention  was  made  of  this  when 
he  received  the  Victoria  Cross.  Here  ensued, 
perhaps,  the  heaviest  hand-to-hand  fighting  of  the 

While  the  ist  Brigade  was  dashing  at  the  enemy's 
last  position,  a  portion  of  the  2nd  Brigade,  consist- 
ing of  half  a  battalion  of  the  3rd  Sikhs,  under 
Lieutenant-Colonel  Money,  charged  a  body  of  the 
enemy  on  the  extreme  left,  and  captured  three 
more  guns.  The  enemy  were  now  almost  com- 
pletely routed,  for  when  the  screw-battery  moved 
forward  again,  and  began  to  throw  shell  into 
the  already  broken  masses  of  the  enemy,  the 
helmets  of  Baker's  brigade,  with  puggarees  floating 
in  the  wind,  appeared  on  the  ridge  that  overlooked 
the  entrenched  village  of  Mazra,  and  Ayoub's  camp 
was  at  our  mercy. 

The  Afghan  force  was  quite  defeated  now,  its 
guns,  thirty-two  in  number,  captured,  its  regiments 
demoralised,  and  their  leaders  in  full  flight,  yet  such 
was  the  confined  nature  of  the  ground  that  no 
distinct  notion  could  be  formed  of  the  real  con- 
dition of  affairs,  "  and  it  was  impossible  for  Major- 
General  Ross,"  says  Sir  Frederick,  "  to  realise  the 
extent  of  the  victory  he  had  won.  He,  therefore, 
expecting  the  enemy  to  take  up  a  fresh  position, 
and  to  continue  the  resistance,  ordered  the  ist  and 
2nd  Brigades  to  halt  and  replenish  their  ammuni- 
tion. When  this  had  been  done,  and  the  troops 
had  advanced  about  a  mile,  Major-General  Ross 
found  himself  in  sight  of  the  whole  of  Ayoub 
Khan's  camp,  standing  deserted,  and  apparently  as 
it  had  been  left  in  the  morning,  when  the  Afghans 
moved  to  the  attack." 

With  his  camp  he  lost  all  his  artillery,  including 
two  Horse  Artillery  guns  which  had  been  taken  by 
his  troops  at  Maiwand. 

There  appeared  to  have  been  no  attempt  what- 
ever made  to  remove  the  goods  and  chattels  with 
which  the  many-coloiured  tents  were  filled.  Bed- 
ding, clothes,  cooking  utensils,  and  even  food,  had 
been  left  (the  latter  in  many  cases  burning  over 
still  lighted  fires).  Not  far  from  the  centre  of  the 
camp    was   Ayoub's  o^vn   tent,   and   in  front  of 

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1 84 



another  near  it  lay  the  still  warm  and  bleeding 
corpse  of  poor  Hector  Maclaine.  The  ruffians 
who  were  guarding  him,  when  they  saw  the  camp 
about  to  be  captured,  in  a  moment  of  frenzy  or 
cruelty  called  him  forth,  and  deliberately  cut  his 
throat ! 

This  sight  inflamed  the  fury  of  our  troops,  and  a 
strict  and  vengeful  search  was  made  for  the  perpe- 
trators of  the  atrocity,  but  in  vain.  His  miserable 
fote  excited  universal  commiseration  ;  and  here  we 
may  be  permitted  to  quote  some  lines  on  the  sub- 
ject, from  the  most  popular  of  English  periodicals : — 

"  Hector  sounds  well  in  a  stoiy  of  battle. 
Homer  had  some  such  old  hero  in  Troy. 
Schoolboys  may  doubt ;  but  the  roar  and  the  rattle 
Cannon  and  smoke— that's  the  school  of  the  boy. 
Woolwich  cadet ! — oh  I  so  cruelly  slain  : 
Why  did  they  leave  you,  young  Hector  Maclaine? 

"Leave  you,  my  lad?  when  your  "  pals "  all  adored  you. 
Was  there  one  comrade  refused  you  his  life? 
War  is  full  dear ;  but  we  could  not  afford  you, 
You  who  rejoiced  in  the  drum  and  the  fife. 
Ours  is  the  loss,  but  to  fiame  is  the  gain : 
Why  did  they  kill  you,  young  Hector  Maclaine  ? 

**  How  our  hearts  beat  when  we  thought  we  could  save  you ; 
We  were  so  cheery,  and  you,  boy,  so  far. 
Unfurl  the  colours  !  We  thought  they  could  wave  you 
Hope  from  the  lads  to  the  far  Candahar  I 

Strike  up  the  pipes !  for  we'll  at  him  again : 
Roberts  is  marching  to  Hector  Maclaine  I 

*'  Merciless  fote  !    When  the  Highlanders  started. 
Firm  in  their  purpose  to  rescue  a  friend. 
Out  from  the  ambush  the  enemy  darted, 
Called  the  last  roll,  stabb'd— and  that  was  the  end  I 
Just  as  we  breasted  the  hiU  from  the  plain. 
Died,  like  a  soldier,  young  Hector  Maclaine  I 

**  Died?    Why,  of  course,  he  met  death  like  a  hero. 
Baring  his  breast  whilst  the  prisoners  fled. 
He  was  the  victim,  his  gaoler  the  Nero, 
Piling  his  body  on  heaps  of  the  dead. 

Still,  ere  you  fell,  and  were  mixed  with  the  slain, 
Scotland  was  true  to  you— Hector  Maclaine  I"  * 

Before  he  perished,  this  unfortunate  officer  must 
have  known  that  his  comrades  were  victorious,  for 
the  murder,  in  its  very  act,  must  have  told  him  the 
glad  truth  that  British  bayonets  were  avenging  the 
disaster  of  Maiwand,  while  British  cheers  could  be 
heard  ringing  out  ever  and  anon  between  the  gusts 
of  volleyed  musketry.  In  his  tent  were  found  his 
pipe,  his  journal,  and  a  bit  of  dry  crust,  of  which 
he  was  supposed  to  have  been  making  his  last 
meal  Some  other  trifles  were  found  there  by 
Edwin  Smith. 

He  was  the  eldest  son  of  Osborne  Maclaine,  of 
Murtle,  Aberdeenshire,  and  belonged  to  the  B 
Brigade  of  the  Jloyal  Horse  Artillery^  lo .  which 
Jie  had  been  appointed  in  January,  1872. 

•  Punch,  September  18th,  188a 

During  the  close  of  the  engagement  Sir  Frederfck 
Roberts  noted  the  following  officers  and  men  for 
"special  gallantry  and  forwardness": — Major  G. 
Stewart  White,  Lieutenant  C.  W.  H.  Douglas, 
Corporal  William  McGillvray,  Privates  Peter 
Grieve,  John  Mackintosh,  and  D.  Gray,  of  Ae 
92nd  Highlanders,  Major  S.  R  Beecher,  Havildar 
Gopal  Borah,  and  the  Sepoys  Inderbir  Lama  and 
Tikaram  Kwos,  of  the  2nd  Ghoorka  Regiment 

Shortly  before  the  final  advance,  Major-General 
Ross  wished  to  inform  Sir  Frederick  Roberts,  by 
heliograph,  that  he  had  succeeded  in  turning  the 
enemy's  position,  and  directed  Captain  Stratton, 
22nd  Foot,  Superintendent  of  the  Army  Signalling 
Department,  to  proceed,  with  a  company  of  the 
24th  Punjaub  Native  Infantry  to  the  Baba  Wall 
KotaL  This  brave  officer  had  gone  but  a  short 
distance  when  a  Ghazi  sprang  out  of  a  ravine  close 
by,  and  shot  him  dead. 

"  In  Captain  Stratton,"  wrote  the  general,  "  her 
Majesty's  service  has  lost  a  most  accomplished  and 
intelligent  officer,  under  whose  management  army 
signalling,  as  applied  to  field  service,  reached  a 
pitch  of  perfection  probably  never  before  attained 
His  energy  knew  no  difficulties,  and  his  enthusiasm 
was  beyond  praise.  He  had  won  the  highest 
opinions  from  all,  and  his  death  was  very  deeply 
felt  throughout  the  whole  force." 

Our  casualties  were :  killed,  of  all  ranks,  40 ; 
wounded,  of  all  ranks,  228;  total,  268.  It  was 
difficult  to  estimate  the  loss  of  the  enemy,  but  it 
must  have  been  considerable,  for  upwards  of  600 
bodies  were  buried  by  us  between  Candahar  and 
the  village  of  Pir  Paimal  alone. 

"Probably  1,200  would  not  be  an  overesti- 
mate," concludes  Sir  Frederick,  in  his  despatch  of 
the  battle. 

With  the  capture  of  Ayoub's  camp  at  Mazra  the 
strife  did  not  cease,  and  we  have  to  detail  General 
Cough's  pursuit  of  the  routed  Afghans  at  the  head 
of  his  cavalry. 

After  the  battle,  Ayoub  fled  towards  Kakrez,  en 
route  to  Herat,  where,  as  a  beaten  man,  he  must 
have  felt  that  a  doubtful  reception  awaited  him. 
He  had  no  baggage,  and  was  escorted  by  only  two 
hundred  Heratee  horse.  His  Kakrez  Cabulee 
infantry  fled  up  the  Argandab  Valley,  and  were 
cut  down  in  great  numbers. 

The  British  cavalry  were  in  two  brigades,  that 
from  Cabul  being  under  the  orders  of  Brigadier 
Hugh  Gough,  C.B.,  while  the  cavalry  from  Canda- 
har were  under  the  command  of  General  NuttalL 
The  first-named  leader  had,  at  the  commencement 
of  the  action,  taken  his  brigade  round  the  Baba 
Wali  Kotal  into  the  Argandab  Valley,  and  was 

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engaged,  though  out  of  sight,  the  entire  day 
watching  the  development  of  the  attack  on  the  Fir 

An  officer  in  "Personal  Recollections"  thus 
vividly  describes  the  scene,  as  viewed  by  the 
cavalry: — "Imagine  two  gaps,  cut  shield-shape,  out 
of. this  (mountain)  range — the  one  called  the 
Murcha  Kotal,  and  the  other  the  Baba  Wali 
Kotal — ^and  in  them  four  batteries  of  guns  manned 
by  Afghan  soldiers,  sworn  to  defend  the  position 
and  exterminate  the  infidel  Then  look  across  the 
intervening  space  between  the  river  and  these 
defences,  and  see  what  resembles  three  long  ser- 
pents belching  forth  flame  and  smoke,  as  they 
wind  their  sinuous  course  up  the  reverse  slopes  of 
this  position.  It  is  high  noon,  and  the  sun,  till 
lately  hidden  by  light  and  fleecy  clouds,  rising  over 
the  green  and  flowery  valley,  bursts  out  in  increased 
splendour,  as  we  watch  our  gallant  fellows  march- 
ing up  the  heights,  regardless  of  the  well-served 
guns  that  still  continue  to  play  from  Ayoub*s  well- 
placed  batteries.  Ever  and  anon  we  could  see  a 
mass  of  Afghans  come  down  with  a  rush  on  our 
fellows,  and  then  the  sun  glanced  on  the  glittering 
and  terrible  steel  barrier  which  met  and  stopped 
their  course." 

So  passed  the  day. 

At  eight  p.m.  Gough  received  the  pencilled  order 
firom  Sir  Frederick  Roberts,  and  immediately  gave 
the  command,  "  Stand  by  your  horses ! "  The  buzz 
in  the  ranks,  where  the  men  had  been  "  at  ease," 
changed  to  dead  silence;  flasks,  cigars,  sand- 
wiches, and  biscuits  disappeared  as  the  sharp 
trumpets  rang  out  in  succession:  "Prepare  to 
mount ! "  "  Mount ! "  and  a  thousand  horsemen  were 
in  their  saddles  at  once,  and  in  five  minutes  after, 
as  the  routed  enemy  were  seen  crossing  the  Argan- 
dab  in  full  flight,  he  proceeded  to  follow  them  up 
on  the  spur.  They  proved  to  be  Ghazis  and 
other  irregulars,  seeking  to  make  good  their  escape 
to  Kakrez. 

In  consequence  of  the  nature  of  the  valley — its 
broken  ground,  rocks,  and  ravines— the  action  of 
the  pursuing  cavalry  was  much  hampered;  but 
even  with  these  impediments  before  them,  their 
able  leader  soon  overtook  the  enemy,  for  the 
Native  Light  Cavalry  are  admu-ably  equipped  for 
all  kinds  of  active  work.  Formerly  the  Indian 
trooper  carried  a  pistol  in  his  wallet ;  now  he  had 
a  Snider  carbine,  and,  together  with  his  uncom- 
monly sharp  sword,  had  a  lance,  with  a  bright  steel 
point  and  blue  and  white  bannerol  His  uniform 
consisted,  and  consists,  of  a  tunic  of  dark  blue 
serge  (like  a  Norfolk  jacket),  girt  by  a  scarlet 
cummerbund,   a  dark   blue  loonglue^  or    turban, 

wound  tightly  round  a  wadded  skull-cap,  like  an 
Egyptian  tarboosh,  and  yellow  pyjamas  tucked 
into  long  boots  of  brown  untanned  leather,  with  a 
lance  socket  at  each  stirrup.  His  carbine  is  slung 
on  the  ofl*  side,  and  the  cloak  is  strapped  over 
the  wallet  On  the  near  side  are  slung  his  bhoosa 
(or  grain)  bag,  with  the  horse's  blankets  and  pegs. 

Gough's  command  consisted  of  the  9th  Royal 
Lancers,  3rd  Bengal  and  3rd  Punjaub  Cavalry,  and 
two  squadrons  of  the  ist  and  2nd  Central  India 
Horse;  he  had  aheady  made  himself  familiar 
with  the  ground  he  had  to  traverse,  and  he  had 
been  during  the  day  left  to  his  own  discretion  as 
events  wore  on. 

General  Nuttall,  at  the  head  of  the  3rd  Bombay 
Light  Cavalry  and  3rd  Scinde  Horse,  crossed  the 
Baba  Wali  Kotal,  and  keeping  on  the  nearer  bank  of 
the  Argandab,  took  up  the  pursuit  on  a  line  parallel 
to  Gough's,  which  was  on  the  other  side,  and  both 
continued  it  along  the  stream  as  far  as  Mansurabad, 
a  distance  of  fifteen  miles  from  Candahar,  cutting 
down  the  flying  foe  on  right  and  left,  and  500  are 
believed  to  have  perished. 

The  cavalry  did  not  get  back  to  camp  till  past 
ten  o'clock,  when  many  of  their  horses  were  found 
to  be  quite  knocked  up. 

The  casualties  among  the  officers  were :  Colonel 
Francis  Brownlow,  C.B.,  and  Captain  St  John 
Frome,  both  of  the  72nd  Highlanders,  and  Stratton, 
of  the  22nd,  Rowcroft,  of  the  4th  Ghoorkas,  and 
Chesney,  of  the  23rd  Pioneers,  killed;  Captain 
Charles  Stewart  Murray  and  Lieutenant  Munroe, 
72nd,  Lieutenants  Stuart,  Menzies,  and  Donald 
Stewart,  92nd  Highlanders,  Lieutenant-Colonel  A. 
Battye,  of  the  2nd  Ghoorkas,  and  Major  Slater,  of 
the  2nd  Sikhs,  wounded 

Colonel  Brownlow,  whose  loss  was  deplored  by 
his  Highlanders,  had  served  with  them  in  the 
Crimea,  at  Kertch  and  the  siege  of  Sebastopol,  in 
India  at  the  storming  of  Kotah,  and  the  pursuit  of 
the  rebels  under  Tantia  Topee  and  Rao  Sahib,  in 
1858-9.  He  was  an  ensign  of  1854,  and  a  colonel 
of  1877. 

By  the  2nd  of  October  there  died  of  their 
wounds  at  Candahar  Colonel  Shewell,  of  the  Staff 
Corps,  one  private  of  the  S9th  Regiment,  and 
thirty-three  Highlanders. 

The  army  held  Ayoub  Khan  personally  respon- 
sible for  the  murder  of  Lieutenant  Maclaine,  whom 
doubtless  he  intended  to  exchange  for  some  of  his 
relatives  who  were  in  our  hands,  but  in  the  rapidity 
and  desperation  of  his  flight  he  had  neglected  to 
give  any  special  orders  for  his  prisoner's  safety. 
Machine's  diary,  which  was  found,  ending  isth 
August,  said  he  was  badly  treated  till  the  arrival  of 

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Sirteep  at  the  camp  of  Ayoub.     The  moment  the 
latter  had  fled,  the  guard  over  him  and  six  of  our 


sepoys  paraded  them  all  for  execution.  Maclaine 
and  one  sepoy  perished,  but  the  rest  escaped  in  the 

After  the  battle  was  over,  the  general  rode  up  to 
the  head  of  every  battalion,  and  personally  thanked 
it  for  the  victory.  Sentinels  of  the  92nd  High- 
landers were  posted  on  Ayoub*s  tent,  to  prevent  it 
from  being  pillaged.  An  eye-witness  described  it 
as  containing  "  a  couch  of  rich  damask,  covered 
with  matting  of  the  finest  description,  with  some 
large  leopard-skins  as  a  counterpane,  shaded  and 
curtained  by  rich  shawls  draped  above  the  bed ;  a 
number  of  costly  weapons  hanging  from  the  hooks 
of  the  tent-poles ;  a  double-barrelled  rifle  of  English 
make  (Lancaster),  with  an  inscription  in  Persian, 
showing  it  to  have  been  a  Russian  general's  gift ; 
pipes  of  all  kinds,  handsome  chogas,  turbans,  and 
other  articles  of  dress,  evidently  lately  in  use,  lay 
about,  and  gave  a  life-like  aspect  to  the  scene." 

A  repast,  consisting  of  a  rich  pillau  and  a  kid 
roasted,  and  stuffed  with  almonds  and  raisins,  &c., 
was  also  found  laid  and  ready.  Among  other 
plunder  taken  was  an  elephant. 

On  the  day  after  the  battle  General  Roberts  and 
his  staff"  rode  over  the  field,  and  found  the  carnage 

about  Gundi-Moollah-Sahibdad  far  beyond  what 
had  been  anticipated,  and  although  all  night  long 
fatigue  parties  had  been  at  work  bringing  in  the 
wounded,  groans  of  suffering  were  heard  on  every 
hand,  while  the  place  was  strewn  with  stark  and 
mangled  corpses,  from  which  came  a  sickening 
odour  of  blood,  and  amid  which  the  chargers  of 
the  staff"  had  to  pick  their  way.  Many  cavalry 
horses,  pitiably  mutilated  by  shells,  were  seen 
wandering  and  straggling  in  search  of  food  and 
water.  In  one  place  lay  six  Ghazis  in  a  mangled 
heap,  all  struck  down  by  the  same  shell 

Everywhere  lay  dark  pools  of  blood,  in  which  the 
flies  were  battening,  while  the  vultures  floated  over- 
head, or  perched  on  the  dead  horses  and  riven 
ruins  of  the  loop-holed  walls ;  everywhere  lay  lances 
and  round  shields,  pistols,  rifles,  and  broken 
tulwars.  Many  of  our  dead  and  wounded  had 
fallen  under  the  charahy  or  Afghan  knife.  It  is 
used  with  terrible  eff"ect,  but  hardly  ever  for  direct 
blows,  and  its  strokes  being  aimed  usually  at  the 
outside  of  the  arm  or  leg,  thus  produce  frightful 
and  enormous  gashes.     The  Afghan  never  gives 


point  with  his  charah,    A  trooper  of  the  3rd  Sikhs 
had  his  bridle  arm  lopped  off"  at  the  elbow  by  one 

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OuKbhar.i  AFTER  THE  FIGHT.  187 









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blow  of  a  charah^  the  wielder  of  which  lay  head- 
less beside  him. 

More  corpses,  dead  mules  and  horses,  Afghan 
drums  and  standards,  abandoned  cannon,  shattered 
ammunition  carts,  and  every  imaginable  kind  of 
debris^  marked  the  effect  of  Tillard's  Horse 
Artillery  guns,  and  the  line  of  flight  which 
Gough  and  Nuttall  had  taken  with  their  cavalry. 

All  our  dead  were  reverently  interred.  The 
Reverend  Mr.  Cane  and  Father  Jackson  read 
their  several  services ;  the  band  of  the  7  th  Fusiliers 
played  the  "Dead  March  in  Saul;"  and  a  high 
cairn  in  a  conspicuous  position  was  erected  on  the 
field  of  battle. 

Many  dead  were,  of  course,  buried  along  the 
line  of  the  retreat,  and  in  the  gardens  in  rear  of  the 

The  battle  of  Baba  Wali,  or  Candahar,  was  Sir 
Frederick  Roberts's  last  act  of  importance  here,  and 
the  concluding  feature  of  the  Afghan  strife.  It  was 
remarkable  for  the  acute  generalship  and  cool 
judgment  he  had  shown,  and  also  for  the  dashing 
^lan  and  brilliant  courage  displayed  by  his  troops. 
From  first  to  last,  and  from  the  greatest  to  the  most 
minute  detail,  every  danger  had  been  foreseen, 
and  every  probable  mishap  calculated.  On  every 
occasion  we  were  far  outnumbered  by  the  enemy, 
who  were  equal  to  our  men  in  physical  strength, 
superior  to  many  of  them  in  activity,  and  armed 
with  nearly  the  same  weapons;  but  Roberts  trusted 
to  the  courage  of  his  slender  army  and  to  its 
perfect  discipline,  which  were  conspicuous  alike  in 
the  savage  defiles  of  the  Kurram  Valley,  on  the 
rocky  heights  of  the  Peiwar  Kotal  and  the  Spingawi 
Pass,  in  the  lines  of  Sherpur,  and  on  the  splintered 
bluffs  of  AsmaL  Nevertheless,  we  must  bear  in 
mind,  as  a  writer  in  the  Army  and  Navy  Ma- 
gazine has  it,  "  that  the  greater  portion  of  Sir 
Frederick  Roberts's  force  was  composed  of  seasoned 
old  soldiers.  Had  he  attempted  such  enterprises 
with  the  raw  boys  to  be  seen  staggering  under  their 
rifles  here  at  home,  can  any  one  doubt  that  the 
result  would  have  been  disastrously  different  ?  " 

The  Candahar  Field  Force  was  broken  up  in 
September,  and  before  proceeding  to  India,  the 
last  act  of  General  Roberts  was  to  distribute  dis- 
tinguished service  medals  to  the  72nd  and  92nd 
Highlanders  and  the  gallant  5th  Ghoorkas.  They 
were  formed  on  three  sides  of  a  square,  in  close 
columns,  and  the  general,  who  has  an  admirable 
bearing  on  horseback,  touched  his  helmet,  and,  with 
a  clear  and  well-pitched  voice,  according  to  The 
Times  of  India,  thus  addressed  the  men  : — 

"  Soldiers  of  the  Candahar  Field  Force, — I  am 
glad  to  have  this  opportunity  of  giving  medals  for 

distinguished  conduct  to  the  men  of  the  72nd  and 
92  nd  Highlanders  and  the  5  th  Ghoorkas.  They 
have  deservedly  won  them.  I  say,  from  my  ex- 
perience as  a  soldier,  that  no  men  with  whom  I 
have  served  could  have  better  deserved  these 
rewards,  and  it  is  an  additional  pleasure  to  me  to 
have  seen  the  other  day  of  what  material  my  High- 
landers and  Ghoorkas  are  made.  I  can  but  hope 
it  may  be  my  good  fortune  to  have  such  good 
soldiers  by  my  side  when  next  I  go  into  action. 
The  72nd  have,  I  grieve  to  say,  to  mourn  the  loss 
of  their  colonel,  as  fine  a  leader  of  men  as  I  have 
ever  seen;  and  with  him  fell  an  equally  gallant 
spirit,  Captain  Frome,  and  many  brave  men,  among 
whom  I  must  mention  Sergeant  William  Cameron, 
that  grand  specimen  of  a  Highland  soldier !  But 
the  92nd  had  also  a  heavy  loss,  Colour-Sergeant 
Richard  Eraser  and  other  good  soldiers  being 
amongst  the  slain.  On  the  2nd  September  no  less 
than  fourteen  gallant  fellows  were  laid  in  one  grave, 
and  many  of  their  comrades  are  now  lying  wounded 
in  our  hospital  But  in  all  this  you  have  a  British 
soldier's  consolation  :  that  of  knowing  that  you  did 
your  duty  nobly.  I  believe  in  my  day  I  have  seen 
some  hard  knocks  given  and  received,  but  never  do 
I  remember  noticing  a  greater  look  of  determination 
to  win  a  battle  than  I  observed  in  your  faces  on 
that  morning  of  the  ist  September ! 

"  Not  even  the  bravest  Afghans  could  stand 
against  such  a  bold  attack.  Yes  !  you  beat  them 
at  Cabul,  and  you  have  beaten  them  at  Candahar ; 
and  now,  as  you  are  about  leaving  the  country,  you 
may  be  assured  that  the  very  last  troops  the 
Afghans  ever  wish  to  meet  in  the  field  are  Scottish 
Highlanders  and  Ghoorkas.  You  have  indeed 
made  for  yourselves  a  name  in  this  country ;  and  as 
you  will  not  be  forgotten  in  Afghanistan,  so,  you  may 
rest  assured,  you  will  never  be  forgotten  by  me." 

Then  three  ringing  cheers  were  given  by  the 
Highlanders,  that  echoed  far  away  into  the  city 
and  among  the  heights  above  Candahar. 

A  clasp  for  Candahar  was  ordered  to  be  worn 
with  the  war  medal,  and  a  bronze  star  was  bestowed 
on  all  who  shared  in  Roberts's  famous  march.  Six 
clasps  were  given  for  the  six  chief  events  of  the 
war ;  and  several  orders  of  merit,  for  bravery  in  the 
field,  were  bestowed  upon  sepoys  of  the  various 
native  regiments  which  were  brigaded  with  our  own. 

A  vote  of  thanks  to  the  officers  and  soldiers  of 
the  army  was  unanimously  passed  in  Parliament ; 
the  Council  of  India  granted  to  Sir  Frederick 
Roberts  and  Sir  Donald  Stewart  a  pension  of 
;^i,ooo  a  year  each  for  life,  or,  if  they  preferred  it, 
a  capital  sum  of  ;^i  2,500;  and  to  the  troops  six 
months'  batta. 

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In  previous  portions  of  this  work  we  have  glanced 
at  the  gradual  changes  in  the  arms,  armour,  cloth- 
ing, and  equipment  of  our  forces  by  land  and  sea ; 
but  the  innovations,  inventions  in  weapons,  altera- 
tions in  uniforms,  and  in  military  organisation 
^nce  the  period  of  the  Ashantee  War*  have  been 
so  numerous  as  to  require  an  entire  chapter  to 
describe  them. 

The  military  engineer  of  the  present  time,  with  a 
knowledge  of  the  principles  of  fortification,  road- 
ftaaking  and  pontooning,  must  also  now  understand 
the  use  and  preparation  of  electric  cables  and  insu- 
lated wire,  mine-cases,  single  and  multiple  discon- 
hectors,  circuit  closers,  signalling  by  heliograph,  ex- 
plosion by  dynamite,  and  a  host  of  other  matters,  all 
tnore  or  less  complicated  in  their  details,  and  most 
of  which  were  as  unknown  to  our  soldiers  fifty  years 
ago  as  to  those  of  Julius  Agricola. 

The  apparatus  for  visual  signalling — a  science 
which  proved  of  gneat  service  both  in  Afghanistan 
and  in  the  war  in  Zululand,  which  we  are  about  to 
Tiarrate — b  in  itself  no  small  matter  to  understand, 
and  requires  the  care  of  a  thorough  electriciaa 

In  1880,  early  in  the  year,  a  Military  Balloon 
Committee  prosecuted  their  researches  into  the 
methods  of  utilising  the  science  of  aeronautics 
for  siege  operations,  and  into  the  construction  of 
balloons  for  the  ascent  of  one  or  two  persons  to 
a  height  of  800  feet,  and  2,000  yards  from  a  battery 
armed  with  an  8-inch  howitzer.  The  gunners 
in  charge  of  the  latter  were  ordered  to  find  the 
range  of  the  balloon,  and  bring  it  down.  The  dis- 
tance of  an  object  in  the  air  was  found  more  diffi- 
cult to  estimate  than  of  one  on  land,  but  it  was 
judged  to  be  a  mile  off,  and  the  howitzer  was  laid 
at  a  venture.  The  first  shot  was  unsuccessful,  but 
the  second  shell  was  aimed  and  timed  so  skilfully 
that  it  burst  in  front  of  the  balloon. 

Being  a  shrapnel  shell,  containing  300  balls, 
about  180  pounds  in  weight,  it  splintered  and  burst 
in  a  spreading  cone,  and  as  some  of  the  missiles 
lacerated  the  envelope  of  the  balloon,  it  quickly 
fell  to  the  earth.  The  success  of  this  experiment 
proved  that  it  would  be  unsafe  to  ascend  in  a  war 

►  Vol.  III.,  pp.  302.374. 

balloon  for  reconnoitring  purposes  within  2,000 
yards  of  an  enemy's  lines,  though  it  did  not  detract 
from  the  value  of  the  balloon  as  a  new  agent  in 
warfare.  In  cases  of  extremity,  however,  it  may 
even  be  necessary  to  incur  the  risk  of  making  a 
reconnaissance  in  the  air  at  dangerously  close 
quarters ;  but,  as  a  general  rule,  balloons  will  be 
called  into  requisition  only  at  very  long  ranges 
beyond  the  reach  of  cannon. 

The  proposition  to  use  what  is  known  as  the 
"  Steam  Sapper  "  had  effect  given  to  it  when,  at  a 
march  past  of  the  Chatham  garrison,  in  August, 
1877,  before  the  Duke  of  Cambridge,  the  Artillery 
Reserve  and  Engineer  Park  stores  went  by,  drawn 
by  traction-engines.  The  first  drew  three  32- 
pounders  on  travelling  carriages;  the  second  fol- 
lowed, drawing  two  32-pounders  and  two  12- 
pounders,  and  was  followed  by  several  others, 
drawing  waggons  filled  with  shot,  shell,  and  military 
stores.  These  "Steam  Sappers"  will  drag  heavy 
guns  up  steep  slopes,  and  can  steer  a  long  train 
safely  round  a  comer.  The  band  playing  these 
traction-engines  past,  marched  on  foot  before  the 
duke  and  a  brilliant  staff,  including  many  foreign 

In  1 88 1  the  rifles  used  in  the  British  service 
were  the  Martini-Henry  and  Snider  Enfield,  and 
carbines  having  the  same  constructors-  names  were 
used  by  the  artillery,  with  the  Westley-Richards 
carbine  for  the  cavalry. 

The  Martini-Henry  rifle  is  far  superior  to  any  of 
its  predecessors.  The  inside  of  the  barrel  is  con- 
structed with  grooves,  so  as  to  give  the  bullet  a 
twist  when  leaving.  These  are  seven  in  number. 
The  rifle,  with  the  bayonet  fixed,  is  5  feet  ii^^ 
inches  in  length.  The  trajectory  is  8'i  feet  when 
the  rifle  is  sighted  for  shooting  at  500  yards,  and 
the  velocity  of  the  bullet  in  the  air  is  1,320  feet 
per  second.  The  bullet  turns  round  once  in 
twenty-two  inches. 

The  Snider — the  weapon  now  going  out  of  use 
in  the  army — has  a  barrel  with  three  grooves  only ; 
its  length,  with  the  bayonet,  is  6  feet  o^^^  inches,  its 
trajectory  11 '9  feet  at  500  yards,  and  the  velocity 
of  the  ball  only  1,270  feet  per  second,  the  projectile 
turning  once  in  78  inches. 

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The  Snider  is  loaded  at  the  breech  by  means  of 
an  opening  block,  which  works  upon  a  pin,  and 
shuts  backward  and  forward  from  right  to  left, 
being  thrown  open  by  a  smart  action  of  the  right 
thumb  to  receive  the  cartridge.  The  cavalry  car- 
bines are  much  upon  the  same  principle,  whether 
Martini-Henry  or  Snider. 

When  a  ball  leaves  the  rifle  it  rises  considerably 
in  the  air,  and  falls  again  in  a  curve  to  its  destina- 
tion. This  is  the  trajectory.  Thus,  as  we  have 
said,  the  bullet  rises  8'  i  feet  in  the  Martini-Henry 
and  11*9  in  the  Snider.  The  trajectory  of  the  old 
Enfield  was  15  feet;  hence  the  superiority  of  the 
later  weapoa 

It  was  in  1842  that  the  flint-lock — ^the  old 
"  Brown  Bess  "  of  innumerable  glories,  had  a  new 
kind  of  smooth-bore  issued  in  its  stead;  and  in 
those  days  a  man  was  considered  a  first-class  shot 
if  he  struck  the  target  with  it  at  a  hundred  yards. 

In  1878  a  new  and  longer  bayonet  was  issued  to 
the  infantry,  with  a  series  of  brass  studs  upon  the 

With  the  new  and  improved  fire-arms  came  in 
the  new  system  of  drill,  as  evolved  in  the  "  Field 
Exercises  and  Evolutions  of  Infantry,"  specially 
issued  in  April,  1877.  It  was  then  stated  that  in 
future,  battalions  would  be  raised  to  their  full 
strength  by  the  addition  of  men  from  the  Reserves. 
Part  V.  of  these  instructions  deals  with  the 
manoeuvres  and  tactics  of  more  than  one  battalion, 
that  is  to  say,  with  the  application  of  the  drill  (con- 
tained in  the  former  Parts)  to  the  requirements  of 
actual  warfare,  and  to  the  features  of  the  ground 
to  be  worked  over.  It  insisted  that  the  adaptation 
of  the  formation  of  troops  to  the  nature  of  the 
ground  was,  under  the  new  conditions  of  warfare, 
essential  and  demanded  the  most  careful  study. 
This  referred  to  the  loose  formation  and  to  finding 
cover  at  long  ranges. 

Respecting  the  new  drill,  the  general  order  urged 
that  the  regulations  concerning  it  were  not  to  be 
taken  as  rules,  but  as  guides,  to  point  out  the  general 
direction.  "These  regulations,  as  such,  are  useful 
and  requisite ;  but  it  must  be  distinctly  understood 
that  as  regards  the  distances  between  the  fighting 
line  and  the  supports,  and  between  the  supports 
and  the  main  body,  and  as  regards  reinforcing 
the  fighting  line  from  the  supports,  it  is  impossible 
to  lay  down  any  hard  and  fast  line,  so  much  must 
depend  upon  the  circiunstances  of  the  case,  and 
upon  the  intelligence  with  which  the  officers 
actually  upon  the  spot  appreciate  the  situatioa" 

Drill  and  formations  were  to  vary  according  to 
the  nature  of  the  ground,  "  as  a  blind  adherence 
to  the  words  of  these  instructions  in  real  war  or 

under  varying  circumstances  of  ground,  cannot 
fail  to  prevent  the  development  of  individual 
intelligence,  which  is  essential  to  the  success  of 
modem  tactics." 

Most  wonderful  have  been  the  changes  and 
improvements  in  gunnery  within  the  last  few  years. 
We  have  now  2,000-pounders,  weighing  100  tons, 
and  loo-ton  muzzle-loaders ;  yet  the  art  of  war  is 
not  revolutionised. 

The  first  trial  of  the  famous  80-ton  gun  took 
place  at  Woolwich  in  1877,  when  five  rounds  were 
fired  from  it,  the  charges  employed  being  425 
pounds  of  powder,  and  a  shot  1,703  pounds  in 
weight  with  each  round,  the  concussion  seeming 
to  rend  the  very  air.  The  muzzle  velocities  regis- 
tered about  1,587  feet  per  second.  In  August, 
1883,  an  important  experiment  was  made  at  Shoe- 
buryness,  for  the  purpose  of  testing  the  eff*ect  of  its 
fire,  in  the  presence  of  the  War  Office  Committee 
and  the  Commandant  of  the  School  of  Gunnery. 

A  representation  of  one  of  the  most  massive  forts 
at  Spithead  was  built  on  the  marshes,  60  feet  long 
by  20  feet  wide,  and  divided  into  four  sections,  the 
whole  constructed  of  granite  blocks,  backed  up 
with  teak  and  concrete.  The  monster  gun,  on  an 
experimental  carriage  and  line  of  rails,  was  placed 
in  position  at  200  yards'  distance  from  this  target, 
and  loaded  with  450  pounds  of  pebble  powder,  and 
a  shot  weighing  1,700  pounds,  including  the  gas- 
check.  It  was  fired  by  electricity,  and  presently 
a  tremendous  crash  on  the  target  was  heard, 
which,  after  an  initial  velocity  of  1,588,  had  been 
struck  exactly  in  the  centre.  The  shot  had  cut 
through  both  iron  slabs  and  granite  facings,  and 
was  embedded  about  6  feet  deep  in  the  concrete 
behind.  This  representation  of  a  fort  cost  some 
thousands  of  pounds. 

But  this  gun  was  far  outdone  by  one  which  Herr 
Krupp  constructed  at  Meppen,  in  Westphalia,  in 
1879,  and  at  the  testing  of  which  two  British 
officers  from  the  War  Office  were  present  The 
80-ton  gun  had  a  calibre  of  16  inches,  a  total 
length  of  27  feet,  with  a  bore  24  feet  long.  The 
EJrupp  gun  had  a  superior  length  of  bore,  being 
2 if  inches  calibre,  as  against  18  in  the  former. 

The  charge  for  it  consisted  of  385  pounds  of 
prismatic  powder,  and  the  projectile  was  a  chilled 
iron  shell,  1,660  pounds  in  weight,  with  a  bursting 
charge  of  22  pounds  of  powder.  The  estimated 
velocity  of  this  shell  was  1,640  feet  per  second. 

At  Woolwich,  in  the  following  year,  the  most 
powerful  crane  in  the  world  was  constructed, 
capable  of  lifting  three  or  four  loo-ton  guns  at 
once;  but  the  purpose  for  which  it  was  pro- 
vided was  not  to  do  work  which  other  appliances 

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could  accomplish  in  detail,  but  to  meet  the  evident 
necessity  for  dealing  with  ordnance  so  enormous 
as  to  defy  all  the  means  available  for  mounting 
them  on  their  carriages.  The  motive  power,  of 
course,  was  steam,  and  the  crane  was  calculated  to 
raise  i,aoo  tons  in  case  of  need.  This  wonderful 
machine  was  designed  by  Mr.  Fraser,  the  Deputy- 
Superintendent  of  the  Royal  Arsenal,  and  the 
work  was  carried  out  by  General  Younghusband 
and  Colonel  Eardley  Maitland,  an  officer  who 
served  with  the  Artillery  in  Havelock's  column, 
and  under  Outram,  in  some  of  the  brilliant  actions 
of  the  Indian  revolt 

In  1878  star  shells  of  a  new  pattern  were  intro- 
duced into  the  service,  and  manufactured  in  great 
quantities  at  Woolwich.  These  shells  were  intended 
to  be  fired  from  a  6*3-inch  mortar,  and  were  by  far 
the  most  effective  of  their  kind  for  reconnoitring  by 
night  Each  shell  contained  twenty-one  magnesium 
stars,  which,  when  it  exploded  in  the  air,  lighted 
up  a  large  tract  of  country  with  great  brilliance, 
for  a  few  moments  or  a  few  minutes,  as  might  be  re- 
quired, and  proved  most  successful  during  the  war 
in  Afghanistan. 

In  1880,  13-pounder  breech-loading  guns  were 
constructed  at  the  Royal  Gun  Factories ;  and  the 
Moncriefif  principle  of  mounting  guns  on  disap- 
pearing carriages,  which  allow  the  weapon  to  sink 
under  cover  of  the  parapet  with  the  recoil,  and  rise, 
when  loaded,  to  the  firing  position  by  the  action  of 
a  counter-weight,  was  extended  to  all  British  stations 
abroad,  such  as  Bermuda  and  others,  where  the 
system  seemed  to  suit  the  style  of  defences. 

One  of  the  most  useful  inventions  in  artil- 
lery was  the  jointed  7-pounder  mountain  battery 
guns^  constructed  in  the  same  year  by  Colonel 
C  B.  Le  Mesurier,  R.A.,  and  some  of  which  were 
employed  by  General  Roberts's  army  with  excellent 
effect  in  Afghanistan.  The  old  mountain  gun  was 
limited  in  its  weight  to  200  pounds,  and  was 
carried  by  a  mule.  Colonel  Le  Mesurier  for- 
tunately conceived  the  idea  of  increasing  the  length 
and  weight  of  the  weapon,  by  making  the  muzzle 
and  breech  in  two  portions,  to  be  screwed  to- 
gether by  what  is  called  "a  trunnion  hoop;" 
each  portion  might  be  200  pounds,  thus  requiring 
two  mules  for  its  conveyance.  The  gun  was  rifled, 
muzzle-loaded,  and  composed  of  steel,  and  could 
be  conveyed  by  mountain  paths  and  passes,  where 
ordinary  artillery  would  be  useless.  In  many  of 
the  recent  op>erations  we  have  described,  this  gun 
was  found  to  be  of  essential  service  in  the  march, 
when  the  ordinary  9-pounder  field  guns  were  left 
in  the  rear.  Although  throwing  a  7-pound  pro- 
jectile, these  jointed  guns  are  very  different  from 

those  light  7-pounder  steel  guns  which  we  used 
in  the  Abyssinian  and  other  African  campaigns. 
They  are  nearly  6  feet  in  length,  and  only  2^ 
inches  in  calibre,  slightly  increasing  in  the 
powder-chamber.  On  service  no  difficulty  has  yet 
been  experienced  in  unscrewing  the  parts  after  an 
action,  which  was  the  most  serious  obstacle  appre- 
hended, as  it  might  have  prevented  the  removal  of 
the  gun  from  the  field.  In  general  efficacy,  they 
have  won  the  greatest  credit 

Breech-loading  guns,  for  the  Royal  Horse 
Artillery  and  field  brigades,  were  passed  by 
Colonel  Maitland  in  188 1,  and  issued  for  service  at 
Woolwich.  These  guns  have  been  constructed — 
as  far  as  was  pmcticable,  seeing  that  they  are 
breech-loaders— on  the  model  of  the  muzzle-loading 
13-pounder,  which  is  deemed  the  finest  specimen  of 
British  ordnance.  Both  are  3  inches  in  calibre  at 
the  bore,  enlarged  to  6  J  in  the  powder-chamber.  A 
turn  of  a  lever  unlocks  the  breech-pin,  which,  when 
withdrawn,  is  seen  to  be  a  solid  metal  drum,  about 
10  pounds  in  weight,  and  screwed  into  the  gun  by  a 
thread  surrounding  the  whole  cylinder,  except  at 
intervals,  where  the  horizontal  ways  are  smoothly 
cut,  so  that  the  drum  can  be  easily  taken  out  when 
in  position,  to  clear  the  remaining  jambs.  A  half 
turn  of  a  screw  releases  it  in  a  moment,  and  being 
received  by  a  carrier,  it  swings  round  on  a  hinge 
to  the  right,  leaving  the  breech  open  for  loading. 
The  fittings  are  of  bronze,  formerly  called  gun- 
metal,  but  the  gun  itself  is  chiefly  of  steeL  The 
whole  of  the  barrel  is  steel,  and  it  is  only  in  the 
rear  that  wrought-iron  coils  are  shrunk  on  to 
strengthen  and  support  it  The  weight  of  this 
beautiful  gun  is  only  8J  hundredweights. 

Sinde  our  Catling  gun  struck  such  terror  into 
the  hearts  of  the  Ashantees,  on  the  banks  of  the 
Prah,  this  most  formidable  weapon  has  been  made 
more  perfect  and  more  simple  in  construction.  Its 
weight  has  been  reduced  to  nearly  one  half,  while 
the  rapidity  of  its  fire  has  been  increased.  Instead 
of  the  old  drum-feeder,  which  was  fed  at  the  side  of 
the  gun,  the  new  one  is  an  upright  case  (holding 
forty  cartridges),  enabling  600  rounds  per  minute 
to  be  fired  with  the  greatest  ease.  The  crank- 
handle  by  which  it  is  worked  is  now  only  7  inches 
long ;  four  revolutions  empty  one  of  the  feeders, 
which  is  instantly  replaced  by  one  of  the  servers  of 
the  gun.  In  both  services  we  have  still  about  250 
old-pattern  Catlings,  and  all  who  witnessed  the 
effective  service  that  a  half-battery  of  them  did  at 
Ulundi,  in  sweeping  away  an  encircling  advance  of 
Zulus,  bore  testimony  to  the  value  of  our  investing 
in  this  destructive  form  of  weapon.  We  apply  the 
Boxer  cartridge    to    the  new  Catling;    but    the 

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Americans  use  a  solid  metal  cartridge-case,  stamped 
out  of  the  sheet  "  We — though  from  the  nature 
of  our  service,  small-arm  ammunition  is  subjected 
to  more  severe  trials  than  in  any  other  army  in 
the  world — use  a  compound  of  iron  and  brass, 
which  is  weak,  and  admits  moisture  so  readily,  that 

fires  twelve  solid  steel  shot  per  second.  The  selec- 
tion of  this  weapon,  in  preference  to  the  Catling 
or  Hotchkiss  revolving  cannon,  was  made  only 
after  a  series  of  exhaustive  experiments,  showing 
all  the  improvements  that  had  been  recenriy 
effected  by  Mr.  Nordenfeldt  in  his  gun. 


a  trifling  exposure  ruins  the  powder  and  the  fulmi- 
nator.  This  was  demonstrated  over  and  over 
again  in  Zululand  during  the  wet  season,  when  men 
carrying  their  cartridges  in  a  bandoleer,  got  so 
many  misfires,  that  many  began  to  lose  confidence 
in  their  ammunition." 

In  April,  1880,  the  Admiralty  settled  the  long 
and  much  vexed  question  as  to  the  kind  of  machine 
or  mitrailleuse  which  was  best  fitted  for  use  in  the 
Navy,  to  repel  the  attacks  of  torpedo  boats,  by 
adopting  the  Nordenfeldt  four-barrelled  gun,  which 

In  July,  1883,  the  five-barrelled  Nordenfeldt 
gun,  mounted  on  an  ordinary  infantry  carriage, 
was  adopted  as  an  auxiliary  arm  by  the  Central 
London  Rangers ;  and  a  detachment  of  ten  men, 
under  Captain  Armit,  at  Dartford,  showed  that  the 
time  taken,  from  order  to  halt,  in  reversing  the 
gun,  opening  the  limber,  mounting  carriage-hopper, 
and  firing  fifty  rounds,  was  only  twenty-two  seconds. 

Among  other  changes,  the  year  1882  saw  the 
New  Army  Warrant  issued,  comprising  "  the  whole 
system  of  appointment,  promotion,  and  retirement 

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of  officers  in  the  combatant  ranks  of  the  army ;"  and 
the  system  in  future  was  thus  stated  :  A  subaltern 
must  pass  for  captain  within  six  years  of  his  first 
commission,  or  quit  the  service.  He  may  retire, 
after  fifteen  years'  service,  but  must  after  twenty, 
and  so  on  with  the  other  ranks.  However,  the 
new  and,  to  the  army,  somewhat  unsatisfactory 
system  of  compulsory  retirement  came  into  opera- 
tion on  the  ist  January,  1881. 

Changes  of  all  kinds  followed  each  other 
quickly  now.  The  shako,  which  had  been  worn 
by  the  line  in  various  fashions  for  some  eighty 
years,  was  discarded,  and  for  all  troops,  not  High- 
land, a  spike  helmet  was  substituted — for  the  Line 
and  Artillery  in  September,  1877,  and  for  the 
Marines  three  months  after. 

The  collar  badges  of  officers  were  transferred  to 
their  shoulder-straps,  to  be  worn  on  full  dress, 
undress,  stable,  and  shell  jackets.  These  were 
trivial  matters,  but  the  year  1881  saw  a  complete 
revolution  effected  in  the  organisation  of  the  army 
— a  revolution  alike  distasteful  to  officers  and  men. 

All  the  ancient,  and  now  historical,  regimental 
numbers  were  abolished,  and  the  battalions  were 
linked  together  into  what  was  called  "Territorial 
Regiments,"  in  too  many  instances  most  gro- 
tesquely. The  warrant  for  this  alteration  came 
into  effect  on  the  ist  July,  and  began  thus  : — 

"  The  infantry  of  the  Line  and  Militia  will  in 
future  be  organised  in  Territorial  Regiments,  each  of 
four  battalions  for  England,  Scotland,  and  Wales,  and 
of  five  battalions  for  Ireland ;  the  first  and  second 
of  these  being  Line  battalions,  and  the  remainder 
Militia.  These  regiments  will  have  a  territorial 
designation  corresponding  to  the  localities  with 
which  they  are  connected,  and  the  words  *  Regi- 
mental District '  will  in  future  be  used  in  place  of 
*  Sub-District.*  In  those  regimental  districts  where 
more  than  the  requisite  number  of  militia  battalions 
exist,  the  supernumerary  battalions  will  either  be 
converted  into  Artillery  or  Engineers,  or  absorbed, 
according  to  circumstances." 

The  26th  Cameronians  and  90th  Perthshire 
-Light  Infantry  were  formed  into  the  Scottish  Rifles, 
with  head-quarters  at  Lanark ;  the  83rd,  or  Dublin, 
and  86th,  or  County  Down,  became  Irish  Rifles. 
"All  distinctions,  mottoes,  badges,  or  devices  ap- 
pearing hitherto  in  the  Army  List,  or  on  the 
colours,  as  borne  by  either  of  the  Line  battalions  of 
a  territorial  regiment,  will  in  future  be  borne  by 
both  these  battalions;  and  battalions  which  have  not 

hitherto  borne  a  special  device  will  adopt  a  national 
badge — English  regiments,  a  rose;  Scottish,  a 
thistle;  Irish,  a  shamrock;  Welsh,  a  dragon." 

National  lace  for  the  four  divisions  was  ordered, 
with  their  devices  embroidered  upon  it.  It  was 
further  commanded  that,  save  when  battalions 
were  faced  with  blue,  English  regiments  were  to 
have  white  facings  and  colours;  Scottish,  yellow 
(the  Royal  livery  of  Scotland) ;  Irish,  green. 

"  The  black  line,"  continues  the  warrant,  "  will 
be  maintained  in  the  lace  of  all  territorial  regi- 
ments any  of  whose  battalions  are  now  authorised 
to  wear  it.  The  following  regiments  in  addition  to 
those  (now  five  in  number)  wearing  the  kilt  will 
adopt  it,  viz.,  the  72nd,  73rd,  75th,  and  91st.  All 
other  Scottish  regiments  will  wear  trews  and  the 
Highland  jacket.  Militia  battalions  will  wear  *  M ' 
on  the  shoulder-strap  above  the  title  of  the  terri- 
torial regiment  Scottish  Militia  battalions  belong- 
ing to  a  regiment  whose  Line  battalions  are  kilted 
will,  instead  of  the  kilt,  wear  trews  of  the  same 
tartan.  The  Royal  Aberdeenshire  and  the  High- 
land Light  Infantry  Militia  will,  however,  continue 
to  wear  the  kilt" 

Gold  lace  and  ornaments,  in  lieu  of  silver,  were 
also  ordered  to  be  worn  by  the  officers  of  the 
entire  militia  force;  and  even  the  constitution  of 
the  Royal  Regiment  of  Artillery  was  changed,  by 
being  formed  into  English,  Scottish,  and  Irish 
divisions,  with  head-quarters  in  the  three  countries. 

An  attempt  made  by  the  War  Office  to  abolish 
the  use  of  clan  tartans  was  successfully  contested  by 
many  meetings  of  Scotsmen ;  but  the  substitution 
of  a  very  theatrical  brass  helmet,  in  lieu  of  the 
feather-bonnet,  was  also  mooted  at  the  same  time. 

The  old  order  of  precedence  as  regarded  the  re- 
constructed corps  was  carefully  considered ;  but 
the  alteration  did  not  affect  any  prior  to  the  25th 
King's  Own  Borderers,  the  ist  Royal  Scots  having 
as  usual,  precedence  over  the  whole  Line.  But 
some  of  the  alterations  involved  were  ludicrous. 
"Is  it  possible,"  asks  a  writer,  "for  even  a  War 
Office  clerk  to  know  that  a  soldier  belonged  to 
*  The  Royal  West  Surrey  Regiment  (the  Queen's) ' 
if  he  saw  *T.R.W.S.R.T.Q.'  on  his  shoulder- 
strap  ?" 

And  this  is  only  one  instance  out  of  many  that 
showed  the  folly  of  abolishing  the  old  regimental 
numbers,  which  were  used  again  and  again  in 
despatches  and  by  newspaper  correspondents  in 
Egypt,  alike  for  distinction  and  brevity. 

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Before  detailing  the  original  cause  of  this,  in 
many  ways,  disastrous  strife,  it  may  not  be  out  of 
place  to  glance  briefly  at  that  which  is  but  little 
known,  namely,  the  past  history  of  the  Zulus,  whose 
king  was  so  lately  resident  among  us — a  people 
of  whom  we  have  heard  much,  and  are  likely  to 
hear  more;  and  who,  it  is  not  impossible,  may 
eventually  become  a  portion  of  Her  Majesty's 
subjects  in  South  Africa. 

Zululand  is  the  region  north-east  of  Natal,  ex- 
tending to  Delagoa  Bay,  and  has  an  area  of  10,000 
square  miles,  with  a  black  population  of  150,000, 
the  most  warlike  of  all  the  Kaffir  tribes.  "  Zulu," 
in  the  native  language,  is  a  word  signifying 
"  heaven,"  and  was  adopted  by  the  tribe  at  the  out- 
set of  its  victorious  career.  Cetewayo,  the  late 
king,  in  his  real  character,  almost  rivalled  his  prede- 
cessor Dingaan,  in  cruelty,  and  Chaka,  in  military 
talent  of  its  own  kind. 

About  the  year  1780  the  Zulus  were  a  race  who 
found  a  meagre  livelihood  on  the  shores  of  the 
Mozambique  Channel,  and  in  the  north  and  east 
of  what  is  now  known  as  Natal  Warlike  by 
nature,  athletic,  tall  and  well-formed,  they  surpass 
most  African  tribes  in  ordinary  intelligence,  but  are 
superstitious,  savage  and  cruel ;  yet  they  readily 
enough  pecnitted  British  subjects  to  settle  in  their 
domains  near  Port  Natal,  and  even  assisted  them 
in  cultivating  the  land.  They  have  long  known 
the  use  of  iron,  and  how  to  point  their  deadly 
assegais  with  it,  and  also  of  firearms,  which  they 
obtained  from  American  traders.  Then*  chief 
articles  of  commerce  are  ivory,  gold-dust,  indigo, 
cotton  and  silk,  pearls  and  corals,  and  British 
goods  are  chiefly  required  in  barter. 

Towards  the  close  of  the  last  century,  we  are 
told  by  Sir  T.  Shepstone  (in  his  Cape  of  Good 
Hope  Report),  the  two  countries  at  present  known 
as  Zululand  and  Natal  were  thickly  populated  by 
many  native  tribes,  closely  located  together,  and 
intermarrying  with  each  other,  living  in  peace  and 
amity,  possessing  flocks  and  herds,  and  cultivating 
the  soil  from  which  they  drew  sustenance.  Each 
tribe  had  its  own  chief— a  patriarch — possessing 
the  powers  of  life  and  death. 

TTie  Zulus  were  then  an  inconsiderable  tribe, 
occupying  only  a  small  portion  of  the  country  near 
Ae  White  Umvolosi  River,  and  were  tributary  to  the 

Umtitwa,  a  powerful  tribe  holding  the  country  now 
called  Zululand. 

Jobe,  chief  of  the  Umtitwa,  had  two  sons,  and 
when  old  age  came  upon  him,  he  made  arrange- 
ments for  the  succession.  To  Tana,  the  elder,  he 
assigned  a  royal  kraal  as  a  residence ;  but  Tana, 
with  his  younger  brother,  Gondongwana,  began  to 
plot  against  the  life  of  their  father,  who  now  resolved 
to  put  them  to  death.  Tana  was  slain,  but  Gon- 
dongwana escaped,  with  a  wound  from  a  double- 
barbed  assegai.  It  was  dressed  by  his  sister,  who 
assisted  him  in  his  flight,  and  gave  him  a  particular 
kaross,  or  mantle. 

His  personal  history  occasioned  the  great  changes 
in  the  destiny  of  the  immense  native  population 
occupying  the  country  from  the  Zambesi  to  St 
John's  River,  and  led  to  Natal  becoming  a  British 
colony.  His  adventures,  escapes,  and  perils,  as  he 
wandered  about,  would  make  a  large  volume.  He 
eventually  made  himself  chief  of  the  Umtitwa 
power,  and,  in  compliment  to  his  wonderful 
history,  he  was  designated  Dingiswayo,  or  the 

He  no  sooner  found  himself  established  as  chief 
than  he  introduced  the  principles  of  military  orga- 
nisation which  he  had  learned  while  wandering 
among  the  white  men  for  some  fifteen  years.  The 
chief  of  the  then  small  Zulu  tribe  had  an  illegitimate 
son  called  Chaka,  who  was  bom  in  1787,  and  was 
energetic  and  talented,  but  gave  ofience  to  the 
family  of  his  father  by  the  airs  he  assumed,  and  he 
was  eventually  compelled  to  enter  one  of  Dingis- 
wayo's  regiments  as  a  soldier,  about  1805,  and 
won  a  high  reputation  in  tribal  war.  After  Chaka 
had  been  long  enough  in  Dingiswayo's  army  to 
master  the  system  introduced  by  that  chief,  his 
father  died,  and  he  became  chief  of  the  Zulus  in 
1 8 10.  His  warriors  in  war  fought  with  the  heroism 
of  desperation,  well  aware  that  after  the  fighting 
was  over  they  would  all  have  to  undergo  the 
terrible  ordeal  of  "The  Coward's  Bush."  Then  it 
was  that  Chaka  was  wont  to  review  them  on 
return  from  an  expedition,  and  there  it  was  that  he 
dealt  out  praise  or  blame. 

Drawing  the  regiments  up  in  a  huge  semicircle, 
he  made  them  march  past  in  succession,  and,  as 
each  passed  a  certain  spot,  the  deadly  order  was 
issued,  "  Bring  forth  your  cowards!" 

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Then  all  who  had,  or  were  supposed  to  have, 
failed  in  battle  were  brought  forth,  and  put  to 
death  on  the  spot  He  created  an  Imperial  Guard 
of  15,000  warriors,  who  were  ready  at  an  hour's 
notice  to  march  fifty  miles,  and  "  eat  up  "  a  town 
or  tribe  in  two  days.  Having  heard  something  of 
the  battle  of  Waterloo,  he  said  to  Mr.  Nathaniel 
Isaacs,  who  visited  him  in  1825  :  "  Yes,  there  are 
only  two  chiefs  in  the  world :  my  brother  George, 
he  is  King  of  the  Whites ;  and  I,  Chaka,  am  King 
of  the  Blacks."  • 

By  this  time,  in  self-defence,  the  neighbouring 
tribes  had  been  compelled  to  adopt  the  new  mili- 
tary system,  which  so  completely  baffled  ours  at 
Isandhlwana  and  elsewhere,  and  many  battles  took 
place  on  every  side,  till  eventually  Chaka  be- 
came— after  killing  the  king  who  had  shown  him 
such  hospitality,  and  exterminating  half  his  people 
— sole  and  despotic  monarch  of  what  might  be 
deemed  a  kingdom.  As  a  sort  of  sacrifice  to  the 
manes  of  his  mother,  whom  he  conceived  his  father 
had  ill-used,  he  had  a  massacre,  which  lasted  a 
fortnight,  and  was  witnessed  by  Isaacs,  the  Natal 
trader,  who  averred  that  10,000  people  perished. 
One  of  his  palaces  had  its  name  changed  to  the 
"  Place  of  Slaughter,"  to  commemorate  the  fact  of 
his  there  putting  to  death  a  whole  regiment  of 
married  soldiers,  with  their  wives  and  children, 
because  they  had  been  defeated  in  battle. 

Chaka,  the  uncle  of  Cetewayo,  was  now  growing 
old,  and  his  brother,  Dingaan,  put  him  to  death  in 
1828,  when  he  was  in  the  act  of  giving  an  audience 
to  an  Amapondo  deputatioa  Dingaan,  who  suc- 
ceeded, was  only  a  modification  of  his  brother, 
and,  to  avoid  starvation  and  the  other  horrors  of 
insecurity,  some  of  the  Amapondos  and  other  tribes 
became  Zulus,  and  Natal  was  transformed,  from  a 
peaceful  and  cultivated  country,  into  a  wilderness, 
in  which  the  remnants  of  the  denizens  were  always 
killing  or  being  killed. 

The  arrival  there  of  the  emigrant  Boers  in 
1837-8  introduced  a  new  element  into  the  politics 
of  the  country,  and  a  fresh  influence  upon  the  Zulu 
population.  When  the  Boers  came,  they  found 
the  subjects  of  Dingaan,  King  of  the  Zulus,  occu- 
pying the  whole  of  the  upper  part  of  the  Tugela 
Valley,  including  the  lower  portion  of  the  Mooi, 
Bushman's,  and  Buffalo  Rivers,  down  to  where 
Fort  Buckingham  stands  now;  while  from  that 
point  to  the  sea  the  left  bank  only  of  the  Tugela 
was  occupied,  because  the  inhabitants  had  been 
driven  away  by  order  of  Dingaan,  to  prevent  them 
from  fraternising  with  the  European  settlers. 

♦  "  The  Zulus  and  the  British  Frontiers.'* 

Dingaan,  in  heart  as  treacherous  and  savage  as 
his  predecessor,  became  incensed  by  the  trespasses 
of  the  Dutch  Boers  upon  what  he  deemed  his 
territories,  and  began  to  scheme  vengeance. 

He  invited  M.  Retief  (whose  family  is  still  in 
Natal)  the  Dutch  leader,  with  all  his  commando, 
to  the  number  of  sixty — all  principal  persons — to 
a  dinner  of  friendship,  to  celebrate  a.  treaty  of 
alliance  ;  and  on  pretext  of  Dingaan's  anxiety  that 
his  white  guests  should  take  an  active  part  in  the 
festivities,  they  were  requested  not  to  bring  their 
muskets ;  so  the  whole  party — though  previously 
warned  by  Thomas  Halstead,  an  Englishman,  of 
meditated  treachery — ^went  into  the  presence  of  the 
royal  savage  to  return  no  more. 

"  During  the  interview,"  says  Sir  William  Harris, 
of  the  Bombay  Engineers,  *'  3,000  Zulu  warriors, 
standing  up  to  dance,  formed  a  ring  round  them, 
and  for  a  time  alternately  retreated  and  advanced 
in  the  customary  manner,  until  gradually  pressing 
closer,  they  at  length,  upon  a  signal  made  by 
Dingaan,  while  the  farmers  were  in  the  act  of 
qualflng  malt  liquors,  which  had  been  liberally 
handed  round,  rushed  with  one  accord  upon  their 
defenceless  victims.  The  Dutchmen  were  dragged 
about  half  a  mile  across  the  river  by  the  hair  of  the 
head,  and  their  leader  having  been  first  osten- 
tatiously butchered,  the  Zulus  fell  upon  and 
despatched  the  rest — ^knocking  out  the  brains  of 
some  with  their  war  clubs,  impaling  and  twisting 
the  necks  of  others.  Halstead,  unable  to  quiet 
his  own  apprehensions,  had  concealed  in  his  coat- 
sleeve  an  open  clasp-knife,  with  which  he  stabbed 
two  of  the  warriors  who  were  preparing  to  seize 
him,  and  for  this  achievement,  after  having  been 
made  the  spectator  of  the  horrible  massacre  of  all 
his  hapless  companions,  he  was  skinned  alive,  and 
put  to  death  by  means  of  the  most  revolting  and 
barbarous  cruelties." 

Encouraged  by  this,  Dingaan  resolved  to  cut  ofi" 
the  British  settlers,  whose  presence  had  been  en- 
couraged by  Chaka,  and  he  despatched  an  over- 
whelming force  against  them.  "  In  the  dead  of 
the  night  of  the  17  th  February,"  says  the  officer 
above  quoted,  in  his  "Expedition  into  Southern 
Africa,"  "  10,000  savages  dashed  peU-mele  into  the 
sleeping  camp,  arousing  its  inmates  with  whoop 
and  yell,  and  drove  off  20,000  head  of  cattle, 
after  butch^ing  some  six  hundred  souls,  without 
reference  to  age  or  sex,  barbarously  cutting  ofl"  the 
breasts  of  the  women,  and  crowning  the  massacre 
by  dashing  out  the  brains  of  the  helpless  children 
against  the  wheels  of  the  waggons." 

Among  aU  the  Europeans  now  went  forth  the 
cry  for  revenge,  and  no  white  man  disregarded  it 

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for  hundreds  of  miles  around.  In  April,  1838, 
impatient  for  action,  400  mounted  Boers,  under 
Piet  Uys,  marched  upon  Unkunkinglove,  and 
found  the  whole  Zulu  army  drawn  up  on  the 
heights  for  its  defence,  with  two  divisions  advan- 
tageously posted  in  that  form  which  proved  fatal  to 
our  troops — a.  crescent — with  a  reserve  in  the  rear. 

Some  of  the  horses  took  fright  at  the  clatter  of 
assegais  on  shields  and  the  whoops  and  yells  of 
the  Zulus,  and  eventually  the  Boers  were  routed. 
The  aged  Piet  Uys  perished  while  endeavouring 
to  save  a  comrade.  His  son,  a  boy  of  twelve  years, 
fought  bravely,  and  perished  by  his  side,  and  both 
fell  covered  with  wounds.  On  this  same  day  the 
few  Natal  settlers  who  remained,  under  a  Scots- 
man named  Biggar,  marched,  900  strong,  to  co- 
operate with  the  Boers,  though  only  half  that 
number  had  arms  and  ammunition,  and  while 
attacking  a  post  on  a  bare  bleak  hill  were  sud- 
denly surrounded  by  the  Zulu  army  1 2,000  strong. 
The  Natal  men  then  threw  themselves  into  a  circle, 
the  spearmen  forming  its  outer  face,  the  musketeers 
within,  and  after  a  bloody  struggle  of  several  hours' 
duration  the  Zulus  broke  in,  two-thirds  of  the 
settlers  were  slain,  Biggar  and  thirteen  other  leaders 
perishing  among  the  number. 

But  Dingaan's  career  was  drawing  to  a  close, 
as  half  the  Zulu  tribe  revolted  against  him  under 
Panda,  his  brother,  and  joined  the  Dutch,  against 
whom  he  prepared  to  take  the  field,  with  a  large 
force,  among  which  were  a  hundred  warriors  finely 
mounted  and  armed  with  muskets  as  well  as 

Leisurely  gathering  their  forces  together,  under 
Andreas  Pretorius,  of  Graaff  Reinet,  the  Euro- 
p>eans  prepared  for  vengeance  and  the  demoUtion 
of  the  Zulu  natioa  He  had  600  horse  and  four 
pieces  of  cannon,  with  which  he  encamped  on  the 
night  of  the  15th  December,  within  a  laager  formed 
of  waggons,  and  within  a  short  distance  of  Unkun- 
kinglove, and  10,000  warriors  surrounded  him 
before  dawn.  Afler  a  succession  of  terrible  onsets, 
in  which  5,000  natives  perished,  the  Zulus  were 
repulsed  They  were  mown  down  by  the  cannon 
and  musketry  of  the  Boers,  and  their  power  was 
effectually  broken,  while  the  casualties  of  the 
Dutch,  as  given  by  Sir  William  Harris,  were  only 
three  farmers  wounded,  including  Pretorius. 

Dingaan  set  fire  10  his  thatched  capital  and  fled 
to  the  Amaswazi,  a  hostile  native  power  in  the 
north.  They  received  him  courteously,  and  then 
murdered  him  in  the  night.  This  expedition  of 
Pretorius  is  still  called  by  the  Boers  D^r  Volks 
Raid^  as  they  deem  it  the  Marathon  or  Bannock- 
burn  of  Natal. 

Panda  was  now  proclaimed  King  of  the  Zulus 
in  1840,  and  at  once  assumed  the  government,  if 
such  it  can  be  called,  and  for  some  years  subse- 
quently he  had  the  good  sense  to  prefer  trading 
to  fighting,  and  by  the  advice  of  the  Colonial 
authorities  relinquished  many  of  the  savage  and 
despotic  habits  of  his  ancestors,  and  confirmed  the 
territorial  grant  of  Natal  to  the  Boers. 

A  portion  of  the  people  who  originally  accom- 
panied him  into  Cape  Colony  on  his  revolt,  went 
back  with  him,  but  a  large  section,  though  they 
had  fought  on  his  side,  and  had  contributed  to  his 
being  made  king,  refused  to  do  so,  as  they  pre- 
ferred the  protection  of  the  Boers  to  being  any 
longer  Zulu  subjects. 

They  were  about  100,000  in  number — the 
aboriginal  inhabitants  of  the  country,  embracing 
the  first  opportunity  that  offered  itself  to  them  of 
occupying  their  ancient  homes  without  being 
subject  to  Zulu  rule.  The  rapidity  with  which 
events  succeeded  each  other  prevented  many  from 
joining  their  respective  tribes  at  the  time,  so  that 
migration  from  the  Zulu  country  of  individuals 
and  families  connected  with  these  tribes,  was  very 
considerable  for  several  years  after  Panda  became 

He  killed  only  as  many  of  his  people  as  was 
necessary  to  impose  order  among  the  rest,  and, 
dying  in  1872,  was  succeeded  by  his  son  Cetewayo, 
who  was  duly  installed  in  power  by  Sir  Theophilus 
— then  Mr.— Shepstone,  the  Representative  of  the 
British  Government,  which  now  ordained  that  no 
Zulu  should  be  put  to  death  without  a  fair  trial, 
and  that  the  king's  sanction  should  be  obtained 
before  the  final  sentence  of  the  law  was  put  in 

But  the  son  of  Panda,  while  assenting,  dis- 
sembled. He  commenced  to  re-organise  an  army, 
which  had  become  somewhat  demoralised  by  the 
timid  policy  of  his  father.  He  collected  all  the 
old  regiments  and  formed  them  into  new  ones,  and 
strengthened  the  bonds  of  discipline,  order,  and 
duty  among  them.  In  a  very  short  time  that 
discipline,  such  as  it  was,  and  enforced  by  torture 
and  death,  became  perfect,  while  its  mobility 
remained  as  remarkable  as  ever.  Such  was  the 
army  of  Cetewayo,  in  1878. 

**  Against  whom  was  this  formidable  engine  to 
be  used?"  asks  Captain  Hallam  Parr.  "Was  it 
for  his  amusement  that  Cetewayo  had  turned,  like 
a  savage  Frederick  the  Great,  his  nation  into 
soldiers  ?  Was  it  necessary,  in  order  to  resist  the 
Swazis  or  keep  down  the  Tongas,  that  he  should 
keep  up  an  army  of  50,000  men,  or  had  he  been 
fired  by  ambition  and  bitten  by  the  same  lust  of 

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conquest  as  Chaka  ?  I  may  venture  to  say  that  all 
South  Africans  and  all  those  who  have  made  the 
burning  questions  of  South  Africa  their  study,  with 
very  few  exceptions,  think  the  last  explanation  is 
the  one  which  discovers  the  policy  of  the  Zulu 

Prior  to  entering  on  the  story  of  the  war  it  may 
not  be  out  of  place  to  give  a  description  of  the 

ground  is  apt  to  break  off  above  the  blade,  a 
circumstance  which  was  turned  to  advantage  by 
one  celebrated  Zulu  chief  We  are  told  that 
"  before  joining  battle  he  made  his  followers  cut 
half-way  through  the  staff  just  above  its  junction 
with  the  metal  head  The  consequence  was  that 
when  the  spear  went  home  into  a  human  body  the 
shaft  remained  intact,  but  if  it  struck  a  shield,  a 


weapons  with  which  this  formidable  army  was 
equipped,  the  weapons  our  soldiers  had  to  en- 

The  word  assegai,  as  we  have  elsewhere  shown, 
does  not  belong  to  the  vernacular,  but  comes  from 
the  Moorish  zagaie^  a  dart  (p.  15),  and  the  Zulu 
name  for  the  weapon  is  umkanto.  The  shaft — 
which  has  an  average  length  of  five  feet,  and  is  as 
thick  as  a  slender  walking-stick — is  cut  from  the 
assegai  tree,  the  fibre  of  which  is  not  unlike 
mahogany.  It  is  britde,  yet  elastic,  and  gives  the 
short  spear  that  peculiar  vibration  on  which  much 
of  its  accuracy  when  launched  depends. 

If  awkwardly  thrown,  the  shaft  on  entering  the 

tree,  or  the  ground,  it  snapped,  and  became 
useless  to  the  enemy." 

The  assegai  heads  are  usually  blade-shaped,  but 
some  are  barbed  —  even  double-barbed  —  while 
others  are  a  mere  spike.  In  the  first  form  a 
ridge  always  runs  along  the  centre  of  the  metal, 
which  is  concave  on  one  side  and  convex  on  the 
other,  as  the  Zulu  has  an  idea  that  from  this 
peculiarity  0/  shape,  the  blade  will  act  as  the  feathers 
of  an  arrow  do.  The  blades  are  made  of  soft  iron, 
so  that  when  blunted  by  use  they  may  be  sharpened 
more  readily.  The  iron  is  fitted  into  the  wood, 
not  the  wood  upon  the  iron. 

By  making  the  tang  of  the  blade  red-hot,  it  can 

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be  forced  into  the  thickest  end  of  the  shaft,  which 
is  then  secured  by  a  thong  of  wet  hide,  that 
contracts  as  it  dries  and  becomes  strong  like  a 
ferrule  of  steeL 

There  are  two  kinds  of  assegais ;  one  for  launch- 
ing at  a  distance,  the  other,  for  stabbing — the  in- 
vention of  Chaka — has  a  blade  that  is  long  and 
straight.  With  this  deadly  weapon  the  Zulu  kills 
alike  his  enemy  and  his  game,  and  so  sharp  b  it 
that  he  can  shave  his  head  with  it.  The  warriors 
of  Chaka  carried  very  large  shields,  as  those  of 
Cetewayo  did,  but  they  had  only  one  assegai, 
instead  of  the  handful  with  which  they  were  wont 
to  go  into  actioa  Hence  they  were  trained  to 
move  more  swiftly,  to  fight  in  compact  masses,  and  to 
close  with  the  enemy.  Hope  of  reward,  with  the 
certainty  of  what  awaited  them  at  "  The  Coward's 
Bush  "  in  case  of  failure,  made  them  quite  invincible 
when  opposed  to  neighbouring  tribes ;  but  with  their 
conflicts  with  the  Dutch  Boers  other  conditions 
arose,  and  the  old  assegais  and  the  old  mode  of 
fighting  were  resumed,  and  in  his  army  Cetewayo 
reverted  to  the  use  of  the  stabbing  assegai,  and 
with  it  the  use  of  the  musket  In  defiance  of  the 
prohibitory  laws  concerning  the  importation  of  fire- 
arms into  Southern  Africa,  as  we  have  already 
stated,  as  many  as  400,000  rifles,  many  of  them 
breechloaders,  have  passed  into  the  hands  of  the 

Cetewayo  is  known  to  have  acquired  many 
thousand  rifles  through  St  Lucia  and  Delagoa 
Bays ;  some  of  them  came  from  Genoa,  and  some 
from  Birmingham,  especially  when  afiairs  were 
looking  black  in  Afghanistan,  and  we  were  on  the 
verge  of  a  war  with  Russia. 

The  war  clubs  used  by  the  Zulus  and  other 
KaflSr  tribes  vary  from  fourteen  inches  to  six  feet 
in  length,  and  are  furnished  with  a  knob — hence 
the  name  knobkerie.  The  shorter  is  hung  at  the 
girdle,  and  is  used  as  a  club  at  close  quarters,  or  to 
be  hurled  after  game,  but  the  Zulus  give  a  preference 
to  the  long-shafted  weapon.  They  are  usually 
made  of  acacia  wood  and  some  of  the  horn  of  the 
white  rhinoceros. 
^  The  defensive  weapon  of  the  Zulu  is  a  shield 
made  of  ox  hide,  oval  in  form,  and  quite  imper- 
vious to  the  passage  of  an  assegai.  This  com- 
pletely covers  him  from  head  to  foot  A  central 
stick,  long  enough  to  project  beyond  each  end,  is 
within  the  shield,  and  forms  the  grasp  for  the  left 
hand,  while  daubs  of  black,  white,  or  red  denote 
the  particular  "  regiment "  to  which  they  belong. 
Married  soldiers  alone  can  wear  the  isikokkOy  or 
head  ring  (in  which  Cetewayo  occasionally  figured 
in  England) ;  they,  too,  carry  white  shields,  while 

the  unmarried  carry  black,  when  by  valour  in  the 
field  they  have  earned  the  right  to  bear  one  at  all. 
"  The  shields,"  says  a  writer,  "  are  not  the  private 
property  of  the  recipients,  but  of  the  king,  who 
claims  by  right  the  hides  of  all  the  cattle  in  the 
military  kraals.  Each  hide  is  supposed  to  furnish 
two  shields — a  large  one  for  war  and  a  smaller  one 
for  the  chase.  A  number  of  men  are  constantly 
employed  in  converting  hides  into  shields,  and 
special  store-huts  are  set  aside  for  them  when 

Thus,  as  these  were  the  king's  property,  it  often 
happened  that  young  warriors,  whose  addresses 
had  been  paid  to  the  girls  of  a  tribe  with  which 
they  had  been  fighting,  sent  home  their  shields 
from  the  field  of  battle  by  their  fiiends,  and 
returned  with  their  late  foes  to  prosecute  their  love 

Prior  to  our  war  with  him,  Cetewayo  showed 
much  dexterity  and  some  diplomacy  in  the  way  in 
which  he  played  off  the  Boers  of  the  Transvaal 
against  the  Natal  Government;  and  the  estimate 
formed  of  his  character  by  Captain  Parr,  in  his 
"  Sketch,"  is  that  he  was  an  able,  but  unscrupulous 
and  extremely  ambitious  savage,  commanding  n 
strong  standing  army  of  young  warriors,  all  eager 
for  battle,  and  whose  presence  and  existence 
menaced  with  ruin  the  border  farms  and  home- 
steads which  were  but  within  a  short  distance  of 
his  capital 

Preluding  the  war  with  Cetewayo,  were  the  first 
operations  against  his  ally  Sekukuni,  during  the 
February  and  October  of  1878. 

So  far  back  as  August,  1876,  an  unsuccessful 
attack  had  been  made  on  his  mountain  fortress,  of 
which  detailed  accounts  are  given  in  "  The  Trans- 
vaal of  To-day  "  by  Mr.  Aylward,  who  belonged  to 
the  Lydenberg  corps  of  foreign  volunteers,  en- 
rolled by  the  Dutch  Republic,  under  Captain  Van 
Schlieckmann,  a  gallant  young  Prussian  officer  of 
the  highest  connections  and  character,  nephew  of 
General  Von  Manteuffel  He  was  killed  in  a 
skirmish  near  Steelport,  on  which  Aylward  assumed 
the  command  of  the  small  but  well-equipped  force, 
in  which  were  many  Britons,  Germans,  and 
Americans,  who  contrived  to  beleaguer  Sekukuni 
till  February,  1877,  and  compelled  him  to  sue  for 
peace,  though  they  failed  to  storm  his  stronghold, 
and  were  repulsed  with  loss. 

When  the  troops  in  South  Africa  were  handed 
over  by  General  Sir  A.  T.  Cunynghame,  to  Lieu- 
tenant-General the  Hon.  F.  A.  Thesiger  (after- 
wards Lord  Chelmsford),  at  King  William's  Town, 
in  British  Kaflraria,  on  the  4th  of  March,  1878, 
they  consisted  only  of  the  following : — 

Digitized  by 


Lydenberg. ) 



Two  batteries  of  Royal  Artillery ;  one  company 
of  Royal  Engineers;  the  24th,  88th  and  90th 
Regiments  in  the  Cape  Colony ;  the  3rd  Buffs  and 
80th  in  Natal ;  and  the  13th  Light  Infantry  in  the 
Transvaal — in  all  about  5,000  men. 

A  wide-spread  feeling  of  restiessness  and  hatred 
tQwards  the  white  races  had  been  for  some 
time  known  to  exist  among  the  natives  of  South 
Africa,  says  the  "Narrative  of  the  Field  Operations 
in  the  Zulu  War  "  (a  scarce  work,  prepared  by  the 
Intelligence  Branch  of  the  Quartermaster-General*s 
Department,  and  one  we  may  have  frequently  to 
refer  to).  And  at  the  date  when  the  war  was  ended 
by  the  death  of  Sandilli — as  related  in  its  place — dis- 
turbances claiming  serious  attention  had  occurred 
in  remote  districts ;  and  while  a  war  with  the  Zulus 
was  deemed  not  improbable,  hostilities  were 
actually  in  progress  in  Griqualand  West,  in  the 
country  on  the  north-west  of  that  territory,  and  in 
two  districts  of  the  Transvaal — one  near  Bloemhof, 
on  the  western  side  of  the  Transvaal,  and  contain- 
ing considerable  areas  of  pastoral  and  agricultural 
land,  and  the  other  near  Lydenberg,  known  as 
Sekukuni's  country. 

The  latter  chief,  who,  with  his  tribe,  was  of  Basuto 
descent,  and  was  the  most  powerful  one  acknow- 
ledging the  supremacy  of  King  Cetewayo,  after  the 
attack  by  Aylward  on  his  fortress,  was  left  in  un- 
disputed possession  of  it  on  promising  to  pay  a  fine 
of  cattle.  At  the  date  of  these  operations  the 
boundaries  of  the  Transvaal  were  very  imperfectly 
defined,  and  while  the  Republican  Government 
regarded  the  operations  they  had  inaugurated, 
as  "undertaken  in  self-defence  against  an  insub- 
ordinate chief  living  far  within  the  boundaries  of 
the  Republic,"  the  view  taken  by  our  Government 
was  that  Sekukuni  was  not  a  rebel  against  the 
Transvaal,  inasmuch  as  his  territory  formed  no  part 
of  that  dominion,  and  that  the  war  waged  against 
him  was  an  unjustifiable  aggression  against  an  in- 
dependent ruler;  but  when,  in  1877,  the  Transvaal 
was  annexed,  Sekukuni's  country  was  included, 
without  any  question,  in  the  new  territory  added  to 
the  British  possessions. 

The  fine  of  cattle  remained  unpaid  to  the  new 
rulers,  and  though  demanded,  was  not  pressed 

In  February,  1878,  Sekukuni,  as  if  to  provoke 
hostilities,  acting  under  the  influence  of  Cetewayo, 
despatched  a  force,  in  conjunction  with  followers  of 
his  sister,  Legolwana,  to  make  a  severe  raid  on  a 
neighbouring  chief,  Pokwana,  who  was  friendly  to 
the  British,  and  a  sharp  conflict  ensued,  the  result 
of  which  was  that  the  assailants  were  defeated. 

Early  in  the  next  month,  Sekukuni,  on  receiving 
a  remonstrance  from  Captain  Clarke,  the  British 

Commissioner  for  the  district,  being  encouraged 
by  the  presence  of  fresh  envoys  from  Cetewayo, 
replied  "  that  the  British  were  afraid  to  fight — that 
the  country  was  his,  not  theirs ;  that  the  white  men 
must  leave,  and  he  was  quite  ready  for  war." 

At  this  time  the  only  force  available  for  the 
maintenance  of  order  was  a  slender  body  of  Police 
and  three  companies  of  the  first  battalion  of  the 
13th  Regiment  at  Pretoria,  from  which  they  could 
not  be  spared,  as  their  presence  was  requisite  to 
hold  in  awe  a  portion  of  the  Boer  population,  who 
bitterly  resented  the  recent  annexatioa  Under 
these  circumstances  Sir  Theophilus  Shepstone,  the 
Administrator  of  the  Transvaal,  applied  for  addi- 
tional troops  to  be  sent  to  his  assistance. 

Consequently,  three  companies  of  the  90th  Perth» 
shire  Light  Infantry  (now  known  as  the  Scottish 
Rifles)  marched  from  Pietermaritzburg  for  Utrecht, 
while  at  the  same  time  three  companies  of  the 
13th  Somersetshire  moved  from  the  latter  place  to 
Standerton  and  Pretoria,  while  fifty  local  Volun- 
teers proceeded  firom  thence  to  Fort  Weeber,  on 
the  borders  of  the  wild  and  mountainous  district 
ruled  by  Sekukuni,  and  aided  by  a  contingent 
furnished  by  Pokwana,  attacked  Masselaroon,  the 
stronghold  of  his  sister,  Legolwana. 

Like  most  of  the  Basuto  towns,  Masselaroon 
was  quite  capable  of  making  a  strong  defence. 
Round  a  strong  conical  hill,  the  sides  of  which 
were  well  covered  with  thorn-bush,  were  clusters 
of  native  huts,  built  upon  platforms  levelled  arti- 
ficially. Each  of  these  clusters  was  environed  by 
a  dense  hedge  of  prickly  pear,  while  the  sides  of 
the  hill  were  scarped,  and  the  approaches  leading 
from  one  platform  to  another  were  strongly 
stockaded,  and  flanked  by  rifle-pits. 

This  fastness  was  of  such  strength  that  it  could 
not  be  stormed  easily,  and  as  the  native  con- 
tingent was  useless  for  such  an  attempt,  the  Volun- 
teers and  Police  could  only  clear  the  northern  end 
of  the  hill,  and  carry  off  some  cattle ;  thus  matters 
in  the  Transvaal  remained  still  unsettled  when,  in 
April,  two  companies  of  the  13th  Foot  left  Pretoria 
for  Lydenberg,  and  another  marched  for  Mid» 
dleberg;  but  though  Legolwana  submitted,  her 
brother  Sekukuni  remained  in  open  revolt,  and  the 
small  force  opposed  to  him  could  only  hold  the 
fortified  posts  near  the  Lulu  Mountains,  among 
which  his  famous  stronghold  was  situated;  but  these 
posts  were  insuflScient  to  withstand  the  marauders 
of  his  tribe,  who,  in  a  combat  on  the  Magnet 
heights,  repulsed  the  Volunteers,  of  whom  sixteen 
were  killed  or  wounded  They  next  assailed  a 
detachment  of  the  Diamond  Fields  Horse,  con- 
sisting of  eighty-three  troopers,  and  carried  off  fifty- 

Digitized  by 





two  horses  and  all  their  cattle,  and  it  soon  became 
evident  that  the  local  forces  were  quite  unable  to 
cope  with  this  revolted  chief. 

General  Thesiger  had  now  established  his  head- 
quarters at  Pietermaritzburg,  and  he  resolved  to 
increase  the  imperial  troops  in  the  Transvaal  by 
one  battalion  of  infantry.  This  officer — afterwards 
Lord  Chelmsford,  K.C.B.,  of  whom  we  must  often 
make  mention — held  the  local  rank  of  lieutenant- 
general,  with  the  office  of  Lieutenant-Governor  of 
the  Cape  of  Good  Hope. 

He  entered  the  army  in  1844  as  an  officer  of  the 
Grenadier  Guards,  and  served  at  Sebastopol  and 
against  the  Sepoy  mutineers  in  Central  India.  In 
1858  he  was  lieutenant-colonel  of  the  95  th,  or 
Derbyshire  Regiment,  and  in  1867  accompanied 
Lord  Napier  of  Magdala  to  Abyssinia  as  Adjutant- 
General,  in  which  capacity  he  was  most  favourably 
mentioned  in  the  despatches  to  the  War  Office. 
From  that  time  till  1876  he  was  Adjutant-General 
in  India,  and  had  in  every  way  the  reputation  of 
being  an  active  and  experienced  soldier. 

On  the  13th  of  August  he  placed  the  command 
of  all  the  troops  in  the  Transvaal  in  the  hands  of 
Colonel  Henry  Rowlands,  V.C.  The  80th  Regi- 
ment was  now  sent  thither,  and  the  force  in  Natal 
was  further  strengthened  by  the  arrival  of  the 
2nd  battalion  of  the  24th  Foot  fi^om  the  Cape, 
while  the  Frontier  Light  Horse,  200  strong,  became 
also  available  for  service  in  the  Transvaal. 

On  the  28th  the  head-quarter  column  of  Colonel 
Rowlands*  force  marched  from  Pretoria  into  the 
long  narrow  valley  of  the  Oliphant  River,  across 
which  he  moved  on  the  8th  of  September,  and 
leaving  a  company  of  the  13th  to  occupy  an  en- 
trenched camp,  he  reached  the  Spekboom  River, 
but  not  without  various  skirmishes  with  the  enemy, 
who  occupied  the  rugged  hills  on  either  side  of 
his  route. 

On  the  3rd  of  October  he  continued  his  advance 
from  Fort  Burgers  to  attack  Sekukuni,  at  the 
head  of  130  men  of  the  13th  Foot,  338  of  the 
Frontier  Horse  and  Mounted  Infantry,  with  two 
7-pounder  Krupp  guns,  that  had  formerly  belonged 
to  the  Transvaal  Republic  He  marched  up  a 
valley  and  through  a  very  rough   country,   and 

bivouacked  near  a  dry  water-course,  where  a  little 
water  was  found  for  the  men  and  horses  by  digging 
in  the  sand,  and  there  he  was  attacked  on  three 
sides  in  the  night,  repulsing  the  enemy  with  loss. 

The  extreme  dryness  of  the  season,  and  the 
consequent  want  of  water,  so  seriously  affected  his 
force,  that  Colonel  Rowlands,  on  thh  sth  of 
October,  ordered  a  retreat  to  Fort  Burgers,  and 
on  arriving  at  the  pools  where  the  column  had 
halted  on  the  preceding  day,  the  ground  was  found 
in  possession  of  a  strong  force  of  the  enemy. 
Unable,  from  the  smallness  of  his  force,  to  achieve 
anything.  Colonel  Rowlands  continued  his  retreat 
for  fifteen  miles,  and  ultimately  reached  Fort 
Burgers,  with  his  men,  horses,  and  cattle  utterly 
exhausted  by  trying  marches  under  a  burning  sun 
and  without  water. 

No  further  attempt  was  now  made  against  the 
formidable  Sekukuni,  whose  stronghold  is  described 
by  Captain  Lucas  as  a  tremendous  natural  fortress, 
being  a  kind  of  "triangular  enclosure  of  camel- 
thorn  hedges,  backed  with  thick  stone  walls,  and 
occupying  a  sort  of  platform  at  the  head  of  a  ravine 
between  precipitous  cliffs ;  the  two  paths  or  lanes 
of  approach  were  barricaded  with  stone,  and  com- 
manded on  each  side  by  a  series  of  walled  passages 
with  many  compartments,  resembling  pews  along 
the  aisles  of  a  church." 

On  the  27  th  October  Colonel  Rowlands  attacked 
a  kraal  belonging  to  one  of  Sekukuni's  dependents, 
situated  about  five  miles  from  the  British  camp,  on 
the  Spekboom  River.  The  position  was  a  strong 
one,  as  the  rocks  and  caverns  afforded  a  great 
amount  of  cover  to  the  defenders.  The  force 
engaged  consisted  of  three  guns,  140  horse,  350 
infantry,  and  250  native  troops.  The  place  was 
stormed  successfully;  sixteen  of  the  enemy  were 
killed  and  many  wounded,  the  loss  on  our  side 
being  eleven  wounded. 

Active  operations  in  the  Lydenberg  district  were 
now  brought  to  a  close,  and  all  our  troops  were 
withdrawn  to  various  garrisons  in  the  Transvaal 
and  to  the  frontiers  of  Zululand,  where  war  was 
imminent;  indeed.  General  Thesiger  firom  the  time 
of  his  arrival  in  Natal  had  been  taught  to  regard  it 
as  a  possible,  if  not  probable,  contingency. 

Digitized  by 






THE  ZULU  WAR  (continued): — ^the  sons  of  sirayo  cause  of  the  war — operations  of  the  right 


The  Zulu  army  at  this  time  consisted  of  about 
40,000  men,  in  addition  to  which  were  two  royal 
regiments,  each  having  its  own  kraal,  or  head- 
quarters. Five  of  these  corps  consisted  of  un- 
married regiments,  the  others  of  single  and  married 
men.  Each  was  divided  into  two  wings,  and  each 
company  had  a  captain  and  subaltern. 

"  The  Zulu  army  as  at  present  constituted,"  says 
the  Report  of  the  Intelligence  Department  at  the 
time,  "is  drawn  from  the  entire  male  population, 
as  every  male  between  the  ages  of  sixteen  and  sixty- 
five  is  called  upon  to  serve,  without  exemption. 
The  military  force  consists  of  fourteen  corps,  or 
regiments,  divided  into  wings,  right  and  left,  and 
the  latter  into  companies.  These,  however,  are 
not  of  equal  strength,  but  vary  immensely,  even  from 
ten  to  two  hundred,  according  to  the  numerical 
strength  of  the  corps  to  which  they  belong.  In 
fact,  the  companies  and  regiments  would  be  more 
correctly  termed  families,  or  clans,  and  each  corps 
possesses  its  own  military  head-quarters,  or  kraal, 
'with  the  following  hierarchy:  namely,  one  command- 
ing officer,  chief,  or  Induna-Yesibaya ;  one  second 
jn  command,  major,  or  Induna-Yohlangoti,  who 
has  charge  of  the  left  wing ;  two  wing  and  company 
officers,  according  to  the  need  of  the  battalion.  As 
a  rule,  all  these  officers  have  command  of  men  of 
the  same  age  as  themselves,  and  the  method  of 
recruiting  is  as  follows  : — At  stated  and  periodical 
intervals,  usually  from  two  to  five  years,  a  general 
levy  takes  place,  when  all  the  youths  who  happen 
at  the  time  to  have  attained  the  age  of  fifteen  are 
formed  into  a  regiment,  and  undergo  a  year's  pro- 
bation, during  which  time  they  are  supposed  to 
pass  from  boyhood  to  manhood.  As  the  regiment 
becomes  disciplined  and  seasoned,  it  receives  large 
drafts  from  other  corps,  so  that  as  the  elders  die 
out,  young  men  come  in  to  fill  up  the  ranks.  The 
entire  Zulu  army  consists  of  thirty-three  regiments, 
married  and  unmarried  No  one  in  Zululand, 
male  or  female,  is  allowed  to  marry  without  the 
king's  permission,  and  this  is  never  granted  till  the 
men  are  forty  years  of  age.  They  then  have  to 
shave  the  crown  of  the  head,  put  a  ring  round  it, 
and  carry  a  white  shield,  in  contradistinction  to  the 
unmarried  regiments,  who  do  not  shave  their  heads, 
and  carry  coloured  shields.  Many  of  these  regi- 
ments are  too  young  for  active  service,  others  are 

too  old ;  consequently,  it  is  estimated  that  about 
twenty-five  regiments  would  be  able  to  take  the 
field,  and  these  would  perhaps  muster  40,000.  .  .  . 
We  have  heard  a  great  deal  about  the  drill  of  these, 
but  their  movements,  so  far  as  we  can  learn,  are 
few  and  very  simple,  but  very  quickly  performed  in 
their  own  way.  They  form  circles  of  regiments,  in 
order  to  outflank  the  enemy.  From  this  formation 
they  break  into  columns  of  regiments,  or  companies, 
and  from  these  into  skirmishing  order,  with  sup- 
ports and  reser\'es.  The  sole  commissariat  of  the 
Zulu  army  consists  of  three  or  four  days'  grain, 
carried  by  the  lads  who  follow  each  corps,  and, 
if  necessary,  of  a  herd  of  cattle  driven  with  the 

Between  the  sable  monarch  at  the  head  of  this 
formidable  organisation  and  the  British  Govern- 
ment, matters  had  been  growing  more  and  more 
perilous,  till  two  conspicuous  outrages  in  the  early 
part  of  1878  brought  them  to  a  crisis — these  were 
what  were  called  the  affair  of  Sirayo  and  the  Middle 
Drift  difficulty. 

Sirayo  and  his  tribe  had  a  quarrel  with  the 
Ischeni,  a  royal  tribe;  the  king  was  appealed  to, 
and  in  settling  the  dispute  Sirayo  lost  all  his  cattle. 
Shortly  after  this,  one  of  his  wives  fled  with  her  lover 
into  the  land  of  Natal,  accompanied  by  another  wife. 
Nothing  was  done  at  the  time,  and  all  evidence 
proves  that  by  Kaflfir  law  "a  woman  is  not  the 
slave  of  her  husband.  He  has  no  property  in  her. 
He  cannot,  according  to  native  law,  kill,  injure,  or 
cruelly  treat  her.  He  cannot  legally  sell  her,  and, 
with  the  exception  of  paying  cattle  to  her  father  as 
a  dowry  upon  marriage,  there  is  nothing  to  indicate 
that  native  law  or  custom  treats  the  wife  as  a 

Nevertheless,  early  one  morning  in  August,  1878, 
the  occupants  of  a  police  kraal  in  the  Umsing  divi- 
sion of  the  Klip  River  were  roused  by  the  shouts  of 
an  armed  band,  which  surrounded  their  residence, 
and  found  themselves  in  the  presence  of  300  Zulus, 
led  by  two  sons  of  the  chief  Sirayo. 

"We  intend  no  harm,"  said  one,  "provided  we 
are  not  resisted ;  but  we  demand  the  persons  of  the 
two  women,  wives  of  our  father  Sirayo,  who  recently 
took  refuge  here,  and  if  they  are  given  up  to  us 
we  shall  return  at  once." 

The  band  was  too  strong  to  resist;  the  unfortunate 

Digitized  by 




[Middle  Drift. 

women  were  surrendered,  or  rather,  dragged  out 
of  the  hut  in  which  they  were  concealed  One  of 
them  was  carried  across  the  Buffalo  in  open  day- 
light, and  put  to  a  J[)arbarous  death.  The  same 
night  the  incursion  was  renewed ;  the  other  woman 
was  carried  off  and  slain.  It  mattered  not  that 
they  had  committed  an  offence  against  Sirayo; 
they  were  found  on  British  soil  and  under  the  pro- 
tection of  British  law,  and  it  seemed  pretty  plain 

you  Englishmen  kill  your  wives,  or  yoiu:  father's 
wives,  if  they  run  away  ?  " 

Meanwhile  the  affair  of  the  Middle  Drift 
occurred  The  Government  were  constructing  a 
road  from  Kranz  Kop  to  the  Tugela  River,  when 
Lieutenant  Smith,  the  engineer,  was  attacked  by 
the  Zulus,  and,  with  his  men,  stripped  of  clothing 
and  severely  maltreated.  Reparation  for  this  was 
also  demanded  by  the  Government,  which   was 


now  that  Cetewayo  meant  to  try  conclusions  with 
the  British  Government,  for  Sirayo  was  a  favourite 
chief,  and  these  young  men  were  his  favourite 

The  surrender  of  them  was  demanded,  and  in- 
stead, Cetewayo  sent  ;^5o.  This  sum  was  re- 
turned, and  the  offenders  again  demanded 
Cetewayo  only  shrugged  his  shoulders;  and  a 
plain  intimation  was  sent  that  if  the  two  lads  were 
not  given  up  by  a  certain  date,  war  would  be 
declared  against  him. 

The  defence  made  by  the  sons  of  Sirayo  was : — 
"  We  did  it ;  they  were  our  father's  wives :  they 
forsook  him,  and  deserved  to  be  killed     Do  not 

quite    aware    of   how    Cetewayo    had    instigated 

Reparation  was  demanded  in  the  form  of  500 
head  of  cattle;  it  was  also  required  that  the  whole 
of  Cetewayo's  large  army  should  be  disbanded ; 
that  freedom  of  marriage  should  be  allowed ;  that 
justice  should  be  impartially  administered :  that 
missionaries  should  be  allowed  to  return  to  Zululand ; 
and  that  British  Residents  should  be  appointed  for 
the  settlement  of  disputes.  It  was  further  intimated 
to  Cetewayo,  that  unless  he  complied  with  the 
terms  on  or  before  December  the  31st,  "then  on 
January  ist,  1879,  the  British  army  would  com- 
mence the  invasion  of  his  land,  and  would  enforce 

Digitized  by 


Middle  Dfifti 



Scale  of  Hllee. 
6       0       6  10  15  SO     86 

Tiiiii     T     I      I     I      I      I     I  =d 


Digitized  by  V3OOQ iC 



'  LTagda  River. 

them  at  the  point  of  the  bayonet"  But  Cetewayo 
was  unable  even  to  sign  his  name,  "and  was  as 
ignorant  and  savage  as  some  of  our  Nonnan  kings," 
and  it  was  not  thought  likely  he  would  submit 

During  the  whole  of  December  Lord  Chelmsford 
had  worked  arduously  in  the  organisation  of  the 
troops  under  his  command,  which  he  formed  in 
three  columns,  thus  : — 

No,  I  Column;  Head-quarters^  Lower  Tugela, 

Colonel  Charles  Pearson,  3rd  Buffs,  commanding. 

Naval  Brigade. — 170  seamen  and  marines  of 
H.M.S.  ActiveyWih  one  Gading  and  two  7- 
pounders,  under  Captain  Campbell,  R.N. 

Royal  Artillery. — Four  guns,  one  Catling,  and 
rocket  battery,  under  Lieut  W.  N.  Lloyd,  R.A. 

Infantry. — 2nd  battalion  3rd  Buffs,  under  Lieut- 
Col.  Henry  Pamell ;  and  afterwards  six  com- 
panies of  the  99th  Regiment 

Mounted  Infantry. — 100  men,  under  Captain 
Piercy  Barrow,  19th  Hussars. 

Volunteers. —  Durban,  Stanger,  Victoria,  and 
Alexandra  Rifles,  and  Natal  Hussars,  40  men 
per  corps,  all  mounted. 

Native  Contingent — 1,000  men,  under  Major 
Shapland  Graves,  3rd  Buffs. 

No,  2  Column  ;  Head-quarters^  Helpmakaar, 
Colonel  Richard  Glyn,  24th  Regiment,  commanding. 
Royal  Artillery,  N  Battery,  5th  Brigade,  with  two 

7-gounders,  under  Major  Harness,  R.A. 
Infantry. — Seven  companies,  ist  battalion  24th  Regi- 
ment, and  2nd  battalion  24th,  under  Lieut -CoL 
Natal  Mounted  Police,  under  Major  DartnelL 
Volunteers. —  Natal    Carbineers,    Buffalo    Border 
Guard,  Newcastle  Rifles,  40  men  per  corps, 
Native    Contingent — 1,000    men,   under    Rupert 
Lonsdale,  late  74th  Highlanders. 

No,  3  Column ;  Head-quarters ^  Utrecht, 
Colonel  Evelyn  Wood,  V.C,  C.B.,  90th  Regiment, 

Royal  Artillery,    nth  Battery,  7th   Brigade,  with 

four  7-pounders  and  two  rocket  tubes,  under 

Major  E.  Tremlett,  R.A. 
Infantry. — ist  battalion  13th  Regiment,  and  90th 

Mounted  Infantry. — 100  men,  under  Major  Russel, 

1 2th  Lancers. 
Frontier  Light   Horse,  200  strong,  under  Major 

Redvers  Buller,  C.B.,  and  the  6oth  Rifles. 
Volunteers. — Kaffrarian  Van-guard,   Commandant 

Schermbrucker,  100  strong. 
Native  Contingent — The  Swazis,  5,000  strong. 

The  Swazis  came  from  the  country  north  of  the 
Zulus,  and  were  their  hereditary  enemies. 

The  native  levies  raised  by  Lord  Chelmsford,  in 
addition  to  his  European  forces,  amounted  in  all  to 
7,400.  These  were  clothed  with  the  conventional 
blanket  of  the  country,  in  addition  to  a  uniform 
costume,  consisting  of  a  corduroy  tunic  and 
breeches,  with  long  boots  of  untanned  leather 
and  broad-leaved  sombrero  hat,  and  their  leaders 
were  generally  officers  who  had  retired  from  the 
British  army.  Their  arms  were  all  serviceable  rifles, 
of  Sheffield  and  Birmingham  make 

There  was  also  a  contingent  of  Boers,  under 
Piet  Uys,  a  splendid  body  of  men,  and  all  crack 

The  known  temper  of  Cetewayo  rendered  his 
acceptation  of  the  ultimatum  more  than  doubtful, 
and  consequently  it  was  necessary  to  make  the 
most  earnest  preparations  for  that  war  which  was 
sure  to  ensue ;  And  for  the  contemplated  offensive 
operations  the  transport  question  became,  as  usual, 
a  serious  difficulty. 

A  great  number  of  ox  and  mule  waggons  were 
collected  for  the  commissariat  service  of  the  three 
columns.  The  former  were  ponderous  vehicles, 
capable  of  carrying  8,000  pounds^  weight,  and  drawn 
by  teams  varying  from  eight  to  eighteen  oxen.  Thus 
no  less  than  28,533  Worses,  mules,  and  oxen  were  at 
one  time  or  other  employed  in  transport 

Colonel  Pearson,  commanding  the  right  column, 
had  served  as  adjutant  of  the  31st  at  the  si^e  and 
fall  of  Sebastopol ;  Colonel  Glyn,  commanding  the 
centre,  was  also  a  Crimean  officer;  and  Colonel 
Evelyn  Wood,  commanding  the  left,  was  also  an 
officer  of  very  great  experience.  He  entered  the 
Navy  in  1852,  and  served  in  the  Naval  Brigade 
under  Captain  Peel ;  was  severely  wounded  when 
carrying  a  scaling-ladder  at  the  storming  of  the 
Redan,  and  was  specially  mentioned  in  the  des- 
patches of  Lord  Raglan.  He  served  in  the  Indian 
campaign  on  the  staff  of  Somerset's  Brigade,  and 
was  present  in  many  engagements,  and  won  his 
V.C.  in  the  jungles  of  Seronge,  at  the  head  of 
Beatson's  Horse. 

Redvers  Buller,  C.B.,  who  had  the  Frontier  Light 
Horse  under  him,  had  served  with  the  60th  Rifles 
in  the  China  campaign  of  i860,  and  in  the  Red 
River  Expedition,  ten  years  subsequently. 

It  had  been  decided  that  the  invasion  of  Zulu- 
land  should  be  made  by  the  simultaneous  advance 
of  the  three  columns  by  three  different  routes,  while 
a  fourth  column,  composed  mainly  of  the  native 
troops,  under  Colonel  Durnford,  R.E.,  should 
move  forward  at  a  later  date,  between  the  lines  of 
the  advance  of  the  centre  and  right  columns. 

Digitized  by 





All  these  columns  were  complete  in  themselves. 
Communications  were  to  be  kept  up  on  the  flanks, 
thus  giving  cohesion  with  the  effect  of  an  advance 
in  one  extended  line.  The  country  in  which  these 
operations  were  to  take  place  may  be  described  as 
being  over  15,000  square  miles  in  extent  Its  lead- 
ing natural  features  are  lofty  open  grassy  downs, 
furrowed  by  deep  water-courses,  and  broken  by 
abrupt  rocky  eminences,  the  remainder  being  a  line 
of  low-lying  alluvial  country,  varying  from  twenty 
to  forty  miles  broad,  and  bordered  by  the  sea. 
All  the  rivers  are  fordable  when  not  at  full  flood. 
Wood  and  fuel  are  plentiful  along  the  coast,  but 
on  the  uplands  they  are  scarce  and  bad,  consisting 
chiefly  of  brushwood  growing  on  the  mountain 
sides,  and  in  the  rugged  kloofs  and  ravines. 

The  climate  is  warm,  moist,  and  feverish,  but 
dry  and  bracing  in  altitudes  3,000  feet  above  the 
level  of  the  sea. 

During  the  time  allotted  for  the  receipt  of  Cete- 
wayo's  reply,  stores  were  collected  at  certain  points 
near  the  frontier  as  rapidly  as  the  difficulties  of 
transport  permitted.  As  there  was  no  regular 
cavalry  in  South  Africa,  two  squadrons  of  mounted 
infantry  were,  early  in  December,  posted  at  various 
I)oints  along  the  frontier.  These  men  were  mounted 
on  South  African  horses,  and  at  first  carried  the 
regulation  infantry  rifle  and  bayonet,  but  were  after- 
wards armed  with  Swinbum-Martini  carbines  and 
bowie-knives,  which  they  could  fix  to  the  muzzles. 
The  2nd  Squadron  had  also  swords. 

Cetewayo's  term  of  grace  had  expired ;  the  nth 
of  January,  1879,  had  come  and  gone,  and  no  sign 
had  come  from  him ;  but  the  Natal  Mercury 
announced  that  he  had  shot  all  the  inmates  of 
three  kraals,  because  they  had  bewitched  the 
daughter  of  a  chief. 

On  the  following  day  the  war  had  begun,  and 
the  Tugela  was  successfully  crossed,  the  Zulus 
offering  but  slight  resistance,  and  falling  back  into 
the  interior  as  our  troops  advanced.  The  first  to 
cross  were  the  Naval  Brigade  of  the  right  column 
(to  details  of  which  we  shall  first  confine  ourselves), 
the  next  were  the  Natal  Mounted  Volunteers,  and 
then  Colonel  Pearson's  infantry,  who  were  ferried 
over  in  a  pont,  or  fiat-bottomed  boat,  30  feet  long, 
hauled  across  by  oxen. 

While  a  work  called  Fort  Tenedos,  with  a  large 
store-house,  was  being  erected  on  the  left  bank 
of  the  Tugela,  Colonel  Pearson  started  with 
the  first  section  of  his  column,  leaving  the 
others  to  follow,  under  Colonel  Welman,  of  the 
99th  R^ment  He  was  accompanied  by  fifty 
store-waggons,  and  marching  through  an  undulating 
and  grassy  country,  free  alike  of  bush  and  Zulus, 

he  reached  the  Inyorie  River,  and  encamped  on 
its  bank. 

Colonel  Wehnan  came  on  next  day  with  hb 
command  and  eighty  waggons. 

The  whole  of  Pearson's  column  now  continued 
its  march  towards  the  Inyezane  River,  where  there 
was  open  ground,  and  then,  on  the  22nd  January — 
he  halted  for  some  hours  to  rest  his  cattle  and 
breakfast  his  troops.  A  mountain  ridge,  known  as 
Majia  Hill,  was  now  in  front,  and  on  it  the  dark 
figures  of  scouting  Zulus  were  seen. 

Colonel  Pearson  ordered  the  Natal  Contingent  to 
disperse  them,  which  was  accordingly  done ;  but 
another  dusky  band  showed  themselves  on  a  spur 
of  the  same  hill,  and  in  order  to  reach  this  spur  it 
was  necessary  to  cross  a  wooded  ravine,  with  a 
marshy  bottom,  and  when  the  company,  under 
Captain  Hart,  emerged  on  the  open  ground  beyond, 
a  large  body  of  Zulus  appeared  on  the  face  of  the 
hill,  from  which  they  opened  a  heavy  fire  at  400 
yards'  range. 

They  came  on  in  the  finest  style,  advancing 
rapidly  over  the  slopes,  skirmishing  in  extended 
order  like  regular  troops,  rushing  from  bush  to  rock 
in  a  steady,  but  stealthy  manner,  till  within  150 
yards  of  the  outposts.  Hart's  men,  being  in  the 
open,  had  to  bear  the  brunt  of  all  this,  and 
almost  at  the  same  moment  they  had  one  officer, 
four  non-commissioned  officers,  and  four  privates 
killed,  as  they  failed  to  understand  the  order  to 
"  retire." 

The  foremost  waggons  had  been  parked  for  the 
halt  when  this  heavy  firing  was  heard  in  front,  and 
Colonel  Pearson,  on  learning  that  the  enemy  were 
there  in  force,  advanced  with  two  Artillery  guns, 
the  Naval  Brigade,  and  two  companies  of  the  Buffs, 
and  took  post  on  a  knoll  rising  from  a  ridge,  along 
which  the  road  ascends  to  Etschowe.  From  thence 
he  could  see  dense  and  sombre  masses  of  the 
enemy  working  round  his  right  flank  towards  the 
rear  of  his  column,  where  the  long  string  of  waggons 
was  now  moving  slowly  up  to  park,  and  against 
these  masses  shells  and  rockets  were  now  dkected 
with  terrible  effect 

Two  companies  of  the  Buffs  and  one  of  the 
Royal  Engineers  now  darted  out  in  skirmishing 
order,  and,  supported  by  some  of  the  99th  Lanark- 
shire, ferreted  the  Zulus  out  of  the  jungly  ground 
into  the  open,  where  they  fell  under  the  fire  of 
Pearson's  guns  on  the  knoll,  which  hailed  shot  and 
shell  among  them. 

Colonel  Welman,  of  the  99th,  now  availed  him- 
self of  this  favourable  time,  when  the  Zulus  were  in 
a  state  of  confusion,  to  send  forward  Captain 
Wynne  and  Major  Barrow  with  some    infantry. 

Digitized  by 





These,  with,  skirmishers  and  flankers  on  the  left, 
and  supported  by  two  half  companies  of  the  Buffs 
and  99th,  moved  forward  at  a  rapid  pace. 

The  Zulus  seemed  bewildered  by  these  move- 
ments, but  not  beaten,  and  Commander  Campbell, 
with  the  Naval  Brigade,  seeing  that  they  were  making 
a  flank  movement  to  the  left,  at  once  obtained  per- 
mission to  drive  them  out  of  a  kraal  about  400  yards 

heights  beyond  the  kraal,  which  a  few  minutes  be- 
fore had  been  crowded  by  warlike  savages,  who  now 
fled  in  all  directions,  terrified  by  the  death  and  de- 
struction dealt  among  them  by  the  rocket  battery. 

On  the  field  300  of  them  lay  dead,  and  double 
that  number  of  wounded  were  carried  off  by  them 
into  the  bush.  Pearson's  whole  loss  was  only  10 
killed  and  16  wounded. 

PLAN  OF  THE  FIGHT  AT  INYEZANE  (JAN.   22,    1879). 

from  the  knoll  Captain  Hart,  with  his  native 
levy,  supported  this  movement,  and  possession  was 
gained  of  some  high  ground  to  the  left  of  the 
Etschowe  road,  and  thus  the  flank  movement — a 
favourite  one  in  Zulu  war — was  effectually  checked. 
Colonel  Pearson  and  Colonel  Parnell,  of  the 
Buffs,  had  their  horses  shot  under  them,  and 
several  ofl5cers  remarked  that  the  fire  of  the  Zulus, 
who  were  5,000  strong,  was  particularly  directed  at 
all  the  leaders.  Colonel  Parnell,  whose  command 
had  acted  as  a  kind  of  reserve,  now  deployed  at 
the  double,  and  coming  up  on  the  right  of  the 
Naval  Brigade,  he   swept,  with   the   bayonet,  the 

After  a  halt  the  march  was  resumed  for  about 
four  miles  beyond  the  Inyezane  River,  to  a  ridge 
on  which  the  column  halted,  and  on  the  following 
day  five  companies  of  infantry  were  sent  off  to  help 
Lieutenant-Colonel  F.  W.  Ely,  of  the  99th,  who, 
with  three  companies  of  the  regiment,  was  toiling 
onward  with  a  convoy  of  70  waggons  laden  with 
stores  and  ammunition. 

On  the  23rd  of  January  the  column  reached  the 
old  mission  station  at  Etschowe.  The  deserted 
buildings  were  still  in  good  repair,  and  as  the 
position  was  a  strong  one,  Colonel  Pearson  pro- 
ceeded to  make  it  more  formidable  as  a  depot  for 

Digitized  by 





this  line  of  invasion,  especially  as  water  was  close 
to  the  new  fort  and  well  under  its  fire. 

Here  news  reached  the  column  of  the  terrible 
disaster  at  Isandhlwana,  and,  after  taking  council 
with    his   officers,   Colonel   Pearson  resolved  to 

remain  where  he  was,  confident  that  he  could 
hold  his  ground  for  a  couple  of  months  at  least 
To  save  food  he  sent  back  the  mounted  men  and 
Native  Contingent,  retaining  1,200  British  troops, 
for  whom  he  had  320  rounds  per  man  in  store. 



On  the  night  of  the  loth  January,  the  2nd,  or 
centre,  column,  under  Colonel  Glyn,  encamped  on 
the  right  bank  of  the  Buffalo  River,  at  a  place 
called  Rorke*s  Drift  It  must  be  borne  in  mind, 
amid  these  operations,  that  though  cattle-tracks 
and  footpaths  traverse  Zululand,  no  such  thing  as  a 
r^ular  road  exists.  The  only  wheeled  transport 
which  had  ever  entered  these  savage  regions 
were  the  waggons  of  occasional  traders  or  sports- 
men, and  the  old  grass-covered  ruts  left  by  these 
were  the  sole  guide  of  our  officers  in  selecting  the 
line  of  advance. 

After  seeing  the  crossing  of  the  Lower  Tugela 
successfully  achieved,  though  the  current  was  deep, 
broad,  and  rapid,  Lord  Chelmsford,  with  an  escort 
of  Mounted  Infantry  and  some  Volunteers,  started 
to  communicate  with  Colonel  Wood,  whom  he 
believed  to  have  crossed  the  Blood  River,  and  to 
be  now  approaching  the  left  flank  of  the  centre 
column,  and,  after  a  brief  consultation  with  him, 
the  general  returned  to  his  own  camp  at  Rorke's 

In  the  morning  of  the  12th  January,  at  half-past 
three,  a  force  under  Colonel  Glyn,  consisting  of  four 
companies  of  the  24th  Regiment,  some  of  the 
Natal  Native  Contingent,  and  most  of  the  mounted 
men,  left  the  camp  to  reconnoitre  the  country  of 
Sirayo,  which  lay  to  the  eastward  Lord  Chelms- 
ford and  his  staff  accompanied  this  force,  which 
after  a  five  miles'  march  reached  a  ravine  in  the 
valley  of  the  Bashee  River,  where  a  considerable 
nimiber  of  cattle  had  been  collected,  and  though 
they  were  unseen,  being  concealed  in  rocky 
krantzes,  their  lowing  loaded  the  morning  air. 

A  body  of  Zulus  now  appeared  on  the  hills 
above,  and  against  these  the  mounted  men  ad- 
vanced, while  the  rest  of  the  force  pushed  up  the 
valley  towards  where  the  cattle  were  known  to  be, 
with  orders  to  climb  a  hill  on  the  left,  work  round 
to  the  right  of  th